Connecticut Sports Betting: Legal Update April 2021

Most of the New England states have been taking their time when it comes to joining the sports betting party, and Connecticut could be close to legalizing in the near future. Gov. Ned Lamont has started off 2021 with a nudge in the right direction by voicing his support for sports betting has sports betting to be talked about within the upcoming state budget meetings. Getting state-tribal gaming rights extended is the first hurdle for Connecticut to begin legalization. There are high hopes for sports betting in Connecticut in 2021, but a few bills and regulations need to pass first.

Connecticut 1State Tribes

As in a few other states like Arizona, sports betting often needs approval from the state tribes, which run the casinos within Connecticut. The Tribes have been long against sports betting within the state due to legislators not wanting to budge on allowing exclusive rights over sports betting. This has led to a stalemate over the last few years, but things are beginning to change as both sides are in need of revenue.

Connecticut Sports Betting Bills

There are currently two sports betting bills floating within Connecticut legislation. One being SB570, which is currently going through hearings. The other is SB146, which is crucial as it would allow Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians to offer sports betting and retail betting on tribal land. Gov. Ned Lamont has been voicing support behind these bills as he wants to begin legalizing sports betting. However, the tribes would still want control, and they can have exclusive gaming rights in exchange for 25% of slot revenue. The legislature seems to have a compromise over how they would begin to handle legalized sports wagering in the state. There are still further issues that need to be cleared up, like licensing fees, partnerships, and tax rates. The legislature will likely approve before releasing more information from the public, as lawmakers still need to fine-tune the details. 

Sports Betting Legislation Timeline

2017 – Before the federal ban was lifted on sports betting where the states could determine legalization, Connecticut signed a gaming expansion to have sports betting regulations put in place if the federal ban was going to be removed.

2018 – The federal government removes the ban on sports betting, giving states full rights to determine how they want to address the matter of online gambling and sports betting.

2020 – After nothing was done in 2019, the Connecticut state government in 2020 saw two sports betting bills, H51568 and S 21, but both failed to progress after a few hearings.

2021 – Governor Ned Lamont has voiced his support for legalizing sports betting, and an agreement has come between the tribes. Before the budget meetings end for the year, Connecticut will have a chance to pass SB570 and SB146 before their annual revenue meetings.

Best & Worst Case Scenarios For Connecticut

Any state that has to have agreements with state tribes is going to have the same worst-case scenario, and that is that they can’t come to an agreement on how how to share revenue or divide the operating power. It seems that the Connecticut state tribes and the legislators have been coming closer to an agreement as both are in dire need of revenue and quickly as possible. People have had their questions about sports betting but there is a lot of people on board now. The best-case scenario is that they begin to get all the details hammered out and hit their budget deadlines for the new year. That would give the go-ahead to the tribes for beginning their operations and handling licenses. Adding mobile and online wagering is also needed as it is a plus for the state revenue but also the consumer.

DraftKings Partners With Mashantucket & Foxwoods Resort Casino

draftkingsmobileappicon-115x115The Mashantucket Pequot is the owner of the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. They have already begun to prepare for sports betting down the road and partnered with DraftKings to operate as their official sportsbook. Given DraftKings close ties to the New England area, this comes as no surprise. With regulations still unclear, we are not sure if mobile and online sports betting would go through DraftKings or they could just operate as an in-person sport betting location only. This is a positive for how quick sports betting could be available to the public, but state legalization is still pending. DraftKings certainly wants to be first in the sports betting market, especially with mobile wagering.

Retail Sports Betting

casino promo codes iconRetail sports betting can be referred to as in-person sports betting or wagering, or brick and mortar casinos, which would be a lock if everything gets cleared. With the tribes already owning licensed casinos within the state and expansion on sports betting now being voted on. Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun are rival casinos operated by individual state tribes. As mentioned above, Foxwoods Resort has already partnered with DraftKings, and that could spell FanDuel moving in on Mohegan Sun. At the moment, they offer plenty of casino games, and in-person sports betting should be coming soon to each. There is also a rumored expansion on table games, as that tends to be the case with states trying to come to agreements with state tribes and their tribal casinos. There should also be an expansion of gaming and potential for online casinos. 

Mohegan Sun 

1 Mohegan Sun Blvd, Uncasville, CT 06382

(860) 862-8000

Foxwoods Resort Casino

350 Trolley Line Blvd, Ledyard, CT 06338

(860) 312-3000

Offshore Sportsbooks

Since there are currently no legal betting options in Connecticut, offshore betting has become the most popular way. This is one of the reasons why the states are beginning to regulate and legalize as they don’t collect gambling revenue off offshore sites, and offshore sites are also not legally obligated to pay out a winning bet or payout an account balance if they are shut down. There is a lot of risk for offshore betting, and having online/retail sports betting would wipe out that market for those 21 and over. We have seen substantial dropoffs in offshore use for legalized states, although Iowa has still had age groups 18-20 target these offshore sites due to the age limit being 21 and over for United States sports betting.

Mobile/Online Sports Betting

Mobile and online sports betting has become a very popular way to bet on sports over the last few years. With DraftKings and FanDuel launching strong online/mobile products, we have begun to see other sportsbooks roll out their own. Also, in a covid-19 era, in-person betting isn’t a priority for anyone, and safety restrictions surely have accelerated the way lawmakers view mobile and online betting. If approved in the state of Connecticut, that means you could join one of these sportsbooks with an account and bet legally as long as you are in an approved state. For example, if the states in the New England area all legalize sports betting, you could roam across state lines and still be able to bet. If Connecticut was to not allow mobile and online sports betting, it would certainly hurt their revenue and also limit consumer options.

FanDuel DFSDaily Fantasy Sports In Connecticut

Connecticut is one of the many states that do allow playing daily fantasy sports. FanDuel, DraftKings, and Yahoo are the main three DFS operators and have had no issues with operating in Connecticut since the beginning. They were legalized back in 2017 by Gov. Dannel Malloy. Through all the legal troubles they had after, Connecticut had no problems. With DraftKings headquarters in Massachusetts, making sure legalization in New England states was key.

Sports Teams To Bet On In Connecticut

new england patriotsWith Connecticut not being home to any professional sports teams, we often find the residents split between New York and Massachusetts. For baseball, most of the state is either rooting for the Yankees or the Red Sox, given both are neighboring states, and the games are only a quick drive or train ride away. Both the Red Sox and Yankees are big market teams for baseball and certainly draw a lot of betting interest in and outside of the state.

There are three football teams that generally fall in line with Connecticut rooting interests, and the Patriots are one of them. Being blessed with a dynasty over the last 20 years, all three teams are now in rebuild mode as the Giants and Jets both search for answers at quarterback. We have our eyes on any of those Connecticut residents looking to switch teams when times get tough.

With the Hartford Whalers being long gone in the NHL and the rivals of the Boston Bruins, some older hockey fans have found fandom in the New York teams with the Islanders and Rangers. Newer hockey fans have joined the nearby Boston Bruins who have been one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams over the last decade.

We will need to monitor how Connecticut handles college sports betting as every state has different limitations. The University of Connecticut has had stellar basketball programs over the years and would be a popular bet if allowed. Boston College and the Boston Celtics would also see some sports bets.

Connecticut HuskiesUncertainty Of NCAA Betting

With a lack of public information on the sports betting regulations, it is unclear if sports betting on the NCAA or in-state college teams would be allowed. Every state has had a different outlook on college sports. The most popular restriction remains that you cannot live-bet on the NCAA, meaning that if the game has already started, it is not available to wager on. That is not the case for professional sports betting, as users can live bet. Some states have also not allowed in-state college betting, meaning you can bet on any college team that is not located within the state lines. With a lack of professional sports in the state of Connecticut, they might not go this route and we should see college sports wagering. However, the NCAA remains an issue. 

Connecticut Sports Betting FAQ

Is Sports Betting In Connecticut Legal?

Sports betting is technically legal in the state of Connecticut, but state legislation has not gone any further to allow operations and licensing. However, that looks to be changing soon with recent bills being voted on at the highest level.

When Will Sports Betting Be Legal In Connecticut?

With Connecticut looking to legalize sports betting soon, it could be within the first quarter of 2021. The tribes and the state have come to agreements on operation rights, which was the first hurdle they needed to clear to begin moving forward with the bills.

What Are Connecticut Sports Betting Laws?

The current laws in place are that sports betting is legal but no regulation has been put in place. The two public bills that are currently in voting would allow retail and mobile sports betting, making it available to those 21 years of age or older.

Are There Casinos In Connecticut?

There are casinos in the state of Connecticut, as both tribes own and operate one each. Mohegan Sun is one of them and the other is Foxwoods Resort and Casino. Both have been operating in the state for quite some time now.

Who Are the Connecticut State Tribes?

Connecticut has two main state tribes, one of them being the Mashantucket and the other is the Mohegan Tribe. Both operate casinos in the state and have wanted full control over the state’s sports betting regulations if it were to go live.

Is There Online Sports Betting In Connecticut?

There is currently no legal way to sports bet in the state of Connecticut. The only way is to use offshore sites, which is not recommended given the issues that can arise with payouts and site safety. Legal sports betting would negate these sites.

Is Daily Fantasy Sports Legal In Connecticut?

Yes, daily fantasy sports are allowed and legal in the state of Connecticut. Back in 2017 a bill was passed to legalize daily fantasy sports to clear up any ties it currently had to being labeled as sports betting in the state.

Is FanDuel Betting In Connecticut?

No, FanDuel Sportsbook does not currently operate in Connecticut. They only allow daily fantasy sports operations. However, FanDuel Sportsbook could join as an operator once the state approves legalized sports betting.

Is DraftKings Betting In Connecticut?

DraftKings only operates as a daily fantasy sports website in the state of Connecticut. They did partner up with Foxwoods Resort and Casino, clearing way for them launching as a sportsbook in the state once everything gets approved.

If Legal Sports Betting Passes In Connecticut, When Would It Launch?

The first quarter is all about getting the bills passed and regulations in place. With the state in need of revenue, we could see approval by the Spring and then operators and licenses could be finalized in time for the NFL season.

  
Jason Guilbault has been writing and podcasting in the fantasy sports world for over five years. You can find his work at Daily Fantasy Cafe. He is an avid Tottenham fan, and follows the Boston sports teams. When he isn’t diving into stats, he is enjoying the outdoors or down at the local brewery.