Rodney believes the state government is balking at allowing his Foxwoods Resort Casino and the nearby Mohegan Sun to offer sports betting and online gaming exclusively.
Connecticut could be legal in all the surrounding states before they get on board. Rhode Island and New York are already on board, and Massachusetts could add it to their economic development bill this month. If it passes, Connecticut could be in a tough position moving forward.
Gaming industry experts are nonetheless optimistic that sports betting will be legalized early next year in Massachusetts. Butler believes $80 million can be generated from sports betting in Connecticut.
What’s the Hold Up?
Connecticut has been talking about sports betting even before PASPA in 2018. Butler says he does not understand what is taking the state so long. It has almost been three years.
Connecticut has been putting sports betting bills into Congress, but none of them have passed. The states only casinos are the two tribal casinos that Butler oversees.
Sports betting debates continue on in Connecticut. former Governor Dannel Malloy allowed the casinos to build a satellite casino in East Windsor. The goal of the casino was to stop people from going to MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.
There are laws in place that could affect the state, however. If the state finds itself in a pickle they could lose out on 25 percent of the slot revenue set up through federal laws. This is something that could push Connecticut to legalize sports betting.
Sports Betting Support
There is still a chance to get sports betting on some sort of bill this year. The government will have a special September session to talk about the economics of the state due to coronavirus. The Governor still believes sports betting is possible.
“We made a strong proposal some months ago that I thought would get sports betting off the dime, in a way that did not invite any litigation. I’m looking forward to restarting those discussions,” Lamont said.
The casinos opened back up on June 1 even though people advised against it. Look at New York and how they are handling casinos? There are protests every day in front of the state capitol, who would want that? Casinos are operating at 25 percent capacity, however, so no reason for Karen to get her panties in a bunch.
Butler believes the tribes have proved they are a legit business and could bring more revenue into the state if sports betting was legal. They will however want their own exclusion when it comes to sports betting.
Connecticut now turns to September to see what lawmakers will do with the economic programs. Massachusetts put sports betting within their plan, which is something that Connecticut can use to get it passed.
With the coronavirus hitting state budgets hard, everyone is scrambling, trying to find revenue streams to bridge the deficit the pandemic is creating. Sports betting feels like one of the best things to turn to in tough times.