On Monday, October 25, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Rush Street Interactive, and Sportech partnered to announce the launch of retail sports betting at the first of 15 PlaySugarHouse retail sportsbook locations. Starting today, Sports Haven in New Haven, Connecticut, will begin accepting in-person sports bets. Retail sportsbooks at Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar locations in Stanford, Connecticut, and Windsor Locks, Connecticut, will be launching within the coming days. The Lottery’s launch of in-person sports betting comes after Governor Ned Lamont placed the first retail sports bet at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Casinos on September 30.
Further Planned Retail Expansion
Connecticut Lottery Corporation isn’t stopping at just one retail sports betting location. It plans to launch seven more sites with Rush Street Interactive and Sportech in Hartford, Manchester, Waterbury, Torrington, New Britain, Milford, and Norwalk over the next several weeks. Gregory Smith, president and CEO of CT Lottery, said that there would be retail sportsbooks in ten Sportech Venues by the end of November. In addition, Lottery Corp. is exploring options for Bridgeport. Hartford’s XL Center, a multi-purpose venue that has hosted several sporting events and concerts, is expected to open a retail sportsbook by 2022.
Expected Sports Betting Revenue
Connecticut’s leap into sports betting is expected to generate $30 million in additional revenue for the state after the first year. According to Lamont, that number could rise to $100 million rather quickly. The two tribal nations and Connecticut Lottery are taxed on gross revenues at 18% for the first five years and 20% in the years after. For fantasy sports betting they are taxed at a rate of 13.75%. In addition, the three parties will contribute a combined $2 million to Connecticut’s problem gambling programs.
Online Sports Betting Launched on October 19
On October 19, three online sportsbooks launched online sports betting in Connecticut. The Mohegan Sun Casino, operated by the Mohegan Indians, has partnered with FanDuel Sportsbook for online sports betting. Connecticut Lottery has partnered with Rush Street Interactive and will be operating under the PlaySugarHouse brand. Foxwoods, operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Indians, has partnered with DraftKings Sportsbook. During the soft launch of online sports betting from October 12 to October 19, GeoComply, a geolocation services company working with the majority of the US sports betting market, reported 1.2 million betting transactions, marking a solid start to the market for Connecticut.
New York Bump in Connecticut Numbers
GeoComply’s report showed that Connecticut was the ninth-largest sports betting and casino market in the United States over that first week of its soft launch, making it larger than Colorado despite having over 2 million fewer people. According to GeoComply, about 38% of Connecticut’s sports betting volume since full launch on October 19 has come from the southwestern border with New York along the I-95 corridor. With no legal sports betting options in New York yet, New Yorkers travel across the border to place sports bets. Chad Kornett, VP of Global Government Relations at GeoComply, stated, “New Yorkers are clearly motivated to travel locally to bet on sites where proper protections have been put in place.”
The same phenomenon has occurred in New Jersey – 20-25% of sports betting revenue comes from New Yorkers crossing the border. New York is expected to launch its legal sports betting market in Q1 of 2022. Connecticut and New Jersey will need to have contingency plans to deal with potentially vast amounts of lost revenue. For now, Connecticut sports bettors can rejoice with a rapidly expanding legal market expected to add several more retail locations in the coming weeks and months.