Connecticut Tribes May Get Exclusive Rights on Sports Betting

Legal sports betting came one step closer to Connecticut this week after the Public Safety and Security Committee voted overwhelmingly in favor (24-1) to have SB 146 drafted in as a full committee bill. 

SB 146 has bipartisan support as the state looks for immediate ways to fill its coffers. Casino revenues have been cut in half by the pandemic, and lawmakers feel that there is no time to waste as they push for games and sports betting to go online.

Key features of SB 146 include:

  • Tribal nations (The Mohegan Tribal Nations and theMashantucket Pequot) will have exclusive rights to sports betting.
  • The Tribal Nations will operate all sports betting under the bill.
  • The Connecticut Lottery will conduct online sales, including lottery draw game tickets and keno games.

Governor Expresses Willingness to Work with Tribal Nations

During his recent State of the State address, Connecticut Governor, Ned Lamont spoke about his administration’s willingness to work together with the Tribal Nations “on a path forward to modernize gaming in our state, as well as the legislature on legalization of marijuana.”

“Sports betting, internet gaming and legalized marijuana are happening all around us,” noted the Governor. “Let’s not surrender these opportunities to out-of-state markets or even worse, underground markets.”

Parternships Formed Ahead of Legal Sports Betting

But while sports betting is not yet a legal reality in Connecticut, there  is alot happening behind the scenes. In anticipation of a new regulated industry, many groups have partnered up in a bid to stake a greater claim in the market.

Each tribe has already partnered with sportsbetting operators.

  • The Mohegan Sun partnered in the past with the Kindred Group in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and it is expected that this partnership will continue into a legal Connecticut market.
  • In December 2020, the Mashantucket Pequot entered into an agreement with DraftKings.
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