Governor Malloy is set to leave office on January 9th, 2019, the same day that the regular session returns. Lawmakers were asked to give the Governor an answer as to whether they wanted to work with Malloy to solve the issue of legal sports betting, or whether they wanted to work with his successor from January next year. It is expected that if lawmakers prefer to reach an agreement during Malloy’s term, a special session will need to be held later this year.
For the moment, the Connecticut administration has held talks with two of the state’s tribal casinos, as well as other entities. The tribes claim that they have exclusive rights to operate sportsbooks, while this has been vehemently refuted by legislative leaders.
According to Malloy: “The bottom line is in the last few weeks real action has taken place. People have started to move in a direction where I think an agreement could ultimately be reached with respect to who could operate within our state, how they would operate within the state, and could he bet on, and the like.”
Malloy said that it was possible that an agreement could be reached, and that legislative action could be called upon. The governor said that he had asked the tribes for their input on the matter and whether they intended coming to the session.
Governor Malloy is keen to see sports betting legislation in Connecticut move forward as he is afraid that the state would face a competitive disadvantage if lawmakers don’t act fast on the matter. He noted that “other states are getting into this fairly rapidly.”
Since the US Supreme Court ruled to overturn a statewide sports betting ban, many states have scrambled to allow sports bets, while others such as Rhode Island and New York have taken steps in that direction.
Legislators were given until Thursday to decide if they wanted to work with the Governor to reach an agreement on sports betting. “I said, ‘If there’s no intention to take these things up, then let me know, because I’m not gunning for extra work,’” said Malloy. “Having said that, because of the gaps in time and the head start that other folks will get, waiting is a dangerous proposition.”