Online Sports Betting in
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes will soon offer online sports betting.
Sports betting is expected to go live in Fall, 2021
Believe it or not, sports betting in Connecticut has been legal for quite some time. In fact, it’s been legal within the state since 2017 when lawmakers and former Governor Dannel Malloy signed a package of bills that legalized sports betting pending the repeal of PASPA. That repeal came just a year later towards the end of the 2018 legislative session.
However, the original package of bills didn’t include any rules or regulations for how sports betting in Connecticut will work.
As a result, we’ve had years of back and forth between state lawmakers, present Governor Ned Lamont, the state’s two federally recognized tribes, and commercial gaming interests. Although all parties continued to negotiate, it wasn’t until March of 2021 that Governor Lamont finally agreed on a deal with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes that would see the launch of sports betting, online gambling, and fantasy contests within the state.
The amended tribal gaming compacts have since been approved by the House and Senate before being signed into law by the Governor. The signed bill also includes provisions for the state lottery to open at least one mobile sports betting app and up to 15 retail outlets.
The industry is now expected to launch sometime in Fall 2021.
Where can you bet on sports in Connecticut?
Now that the framework for legal sports betting in Connecticut has been approved and the new gaming compacts signed, bettors in the state will be able to place wagers at the state’s two tribal casinos and as many as 15 retail sportsbooks managed by the state lottery.
The two tribal casinos are Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun Casino.
Foxwoods Resort is actually the fourth largest casino in the world and has already agreed on a partnership with DraftKings that will see the sports betting operators launch and run the casino’s retail sportsbook.
The Mohegan Sun has also agreed on a partnership deal with Kambi to help launch their on-site sportsbook.
The state lottery is currently accepting bids from operators to be its exclusive sports betting partner and has yet to announce the location of any of its retail outlets.
Both the tribes and the state lottery expect to have everything in place for a Fall 2021 launch.
Sports betting apps in Connecticut
At this time, there are no current sports betting apps in Connecticut. However, this is all set to change by the end of 2021.
DraftKings is partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot tribe allowing the operator market access to launch an online sports betting site and app pending regulatory approval.
The Mohegan Sun also has a partnership with sports betting software supplier Kambi allowing the tribe to launch a mobile sports betting app of their own.
The state lottery will launch an app but has yet to decide on its sports betting partner. This decision is expected in late summer 2021.
Connecticut sports betting news
Connecticut sports betting FAQs
When will sports betting be legalized in Connecticut?
The good news is that it was already legalized way back in 2017. However, the framework for sports betting was only approved in 2021 when Gov. Ned Lamont signed new gaming compacts into law.
The industry is expected to launch in Fall 2021.
Can you bet on sports at Foxwoods resort or The Mohegan Sun?
The new gaming compacts allow for both casinos to operate retail sportsbooks on their property. Both tribes are also allowed to launch mobile sports betting apps. As mentioned, retail sportsbooks are expected to take their first bets in Fall 2021.
How can you bet on The Uconn Huskies?
Unfortunately for those who want to place a wager on the Huskies, betting on in-state college sports is prohibited under the new sports betting legislation.
What is the legal age to bet on sports in Connecticut?
Bettors in the state of Connecticut must be 21 years of age or older.
Connecticut sports betting timeline
Sports betting was a point of discussion for a few years before it finally became legal in 2021.
2017: The first sports betting bill is signed
In 2017, the federal case involving New Jersey vs. the NCAA was still ongoing. The NCAA argued that New Jersey couldn’t legalize sports betting and won at the outset. However, the state of New Jersey then took the case to the U.S. Supreme Court to argue that it was unconstitutional to tell states how to run their individual gambling industries.
In anticipation of PASPA being overturned in 2018, then Governor Dannel Malloy signed House Bill No. 6948 also known as Public Act 17-209.
The bill gave the Department of Consumer Protection control over sports wagering within the current bounds of state and federal law.
However, in order to launch CT sportsbooks, they needed PASPA to be repealed and lawmakers to come up with the proper regulatory framework.
2018: PASPA repealed too late for the legislature
In March of 2018, the Public Safety and Security Committee held what is called an exploratory hearing. Since PASPA hadn’t been repealed at that point, no bills were in discussion.
At that hearing, various stakeholders that would be involved in a future CT sports betting market gave their opinions to lawmakers. For example, representatives from the NBA and MLB came and presented why they wanted official league data to be used and that they should therefore get an integrity fee.
However, the biggest news of the year came in May when PASPA was finally repealed by the U.S. Supreme Court. The repeal meant that states could now shape their sports betting laws however they wanted.
Unfortunately, that repeal happened too close to the adjournment of the legislature that year. Lawmakers couldn’t file a bill and get legal sports betting in Connecticut passed in time.
2019: Lawsuits stall negotiations
The year began with hope as CT SB 665 was introduced in the state legislature in late January.
But, those hopes were dashed when in the very next month, Governor Ned Lamont chose not to include sports betting within the state budget. This was an early indicator that sports betting was not a top priority.
Even so, in March, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment signed a deal with Kambi plc. in order to operate on-property and online sports betting in CT should legislation allow them to.
As the year progressed, complications with the stakeholders in the CT gambling industry blocked any progress from being made on the issue of sports betting. The tribes wanted to open a casino in East Windsor, but so did MGM Resorts International.
MGM Resorts went so far as to file a lawsuit with the federal government in response to the state’s decision to stick with the tribes as opposed to an open bidding process. Sports betting bills were lost in the fog of legal arguments and intense negotiations with even a special legislative session unable to revive interest in legislation.
2020: Coronavirus kills sports betting hopes
The year began with Governor Lamont voicing his support for legal sports betting in Connecticut. Multiple bills were introduced in January and February, however, most of them tried to legalize sports betting outside of the tribes’ control.
Debates and hearings for such bills were curtailed because of the COVID-19 pandemic which temporarily shut down the state legislature. When they reconvened, there were other immediate issues that understandably took precedence over sports betting. As a result, those bills died in committee.
However, the year ended off on a positive note for sports bettors in Connecticut. In December 2020, DraftKings announced that they had partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Foxwoods resort to launch online and retail sports betting.
The deal would come into effect once the legislation was approved and signed into law.
2021: Everyone is on the same page
Coming into the year, the state was looking for any way to increase tax revenues. The state’s budget deficit had swelled due to the pandemic of 2020 and newer revenue streams were needed.
Governor Ned Lamont had also come around to the idea of simply allowing the tribes to have full control over sports betting as a means to expedite the legislative process and get much-needed tax revenue as soon as possible.
He even introduced Governor’s Bill No. 3281 allowing him to renegotiate the state’s tribal gambling compacts allowing the tribes to offer sports betting as well as iGaming.
The state legislature also had the same idea as they introduced Proposed Bill No. 146. Sponsors included 17 members within the House and Senate combined.
In March, the Governor and both the tribes came to an agreement to amend their tribal compact. That new compact would go to the federal government for approval. In the meantime, the state legislature would need to pass the bills in the coming months.
May 2021: Sports betting and online gaming legislation finally signed into law
On May 27th Governor Ned Lamont signed House Bill 6451 into law. The new sports betting and online gaming legislation allows the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to offer both retail and online sports betting products.
The legislation also allows the state lottery to launch a sports betting app and up to 15 retail sportsbooks.
The Mashantucket Pequot tribe in partnership with Draftkings and the Mohegan tribe in partnership with Kambi expect to launch both retail and online sportsbooks by the end of 2021.
The Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) will spend the coming months accepting bids from sportsbooks operators with a decision expected by late summer 2021.