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Connecticut has been slowly but surely making its way towards legalized mobile sports betting. The state has had a long and cooperative relationship with the two tribes offering the majority of legalized gambling in the state, and now, that relationship is building into the modern era. Governor Ned Lamont has come to agreements with tribal leaders and the Lottery Corporation, and sports betting is well on its way to going fully live and mobile in the Constitution State.
HB 6451 is the bill sponsored by Governor Ned Lamont. What said the bill does is essentially grant the ability to conduct sports betting, both online and in-person, to the existing tribes that offer gambling in the state: the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot. The Connecticut Lottery will also be given the ability to provide a sportsbook “skin” (read: operator or brand).
Lottery-run skins aren’t super popular in the online sports betting world because they’re usually the only sportsbook available in a given state. The lack of competition leads to worse pricing for the end-user, so it’s interesting to see that Connecticut is going with a hybrid model, allowing both the lottery and existing gambling operators to provide online skins. What this will look like come betting time is uncertain, but a more competitive environment is expected to lead to better pricing and more innovation in sportsbooks.
In recent developments, 15 applicants are vying to be the Connecticut Lottery’s sports betting partner and offer services to users in CT through their platform. The CLC (Connecticut Lottery Corporation) issued a request for qualifications earlier in April and received a flood of applications of qualified potential license holders. It’s reported that the CLC will process and review these applications for the better part of next month, and report their chosen sports betting partner sometime in June.
The market is already taking shape in Connecticut. In March, the Mohegan Tribe and its leaders signed partnership agreements with Kambi Group, the tech provider for a number of established sports betting brands. Interestingly, though DraftKings Sportsbook is a Kambi brand, that particular operator has been in partnership with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe since 2020, and is already the official DFS partner for the tribally-owned Foxwoods Resort Casino.
As a result, it looks like there will be three skins available in the Constitution State: DraftKings as partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot, whichever Kambi skin the Mohegan Tribe chooses, and whichever operator the CLC chooses as their betting provider and partner.
Governor Lamont wants sports betting to be live both in-person and online by the NFL season. There’s not a set schedule in place according to the text of the bill, but the CLC’s “request for qualifications” document lists September 6th as the system launch, exactly meeting the governor’s timetable. However, as with most things in the legislative world, this launch date is tentative– it’s entirely possible that amendments, debates, or other discussions regarding HB 6451 and subsequent clarifying laws will delay things a bit.
Chris Altman is a traveling writer and content specialist covering everything from betting to plane crashes. He has been working in sports betting, specifically legislation for some time now, covering industry developments and the legal landscape of sportsbooks in the U.S. Chris is also a published short story writer and zine editor. Email: [email protected]More info on Chris Altman
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