Senator Needleman Joins Final Approval of Online Gaming & Sports Betting Bill
HARTFORD – State Senator Norm Needleman today joined the Senate’s final approval to a bill that will bring sports betting and online gambling to Connecticut, run by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation. The legislation passed by a bipartisan 28-6 vote.
“Today, the Senate helps move Connecticut forward, ensuring our state advances into the modern day through online gambling and the introduction of sports betting,” said Sen. Needleman. “This legislation has been worked on extensively by many of my colleagues for months, and I want to take a moment to thank Senator Cathy Osten for her leadership. I look forward to Connecticut being able to compete with its neighbors and increase revenue in coming years.”
House Bill 6451, “AN ACT CONCERNING GAMING AGREEMENTS WITH THE MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT TRIBE AND THE MOHEGAN TRIBE OF INDIANS OF CONNECTICUT,” passed the House of Representatives last week on a bipartisan 122-21 vote. After today’s Senate approval, the bill will go to Governor Ned Lamont for his signature into law.
The bill is based on a new, contractual agreement negotiated between the governor and the tribal nations that must still be approved by the U.S. Department of Interior and published in the Federal Register.
The bill will allow the tribes to conduct in-person and online sports wagering and fantasy sports wagering on their reservations, and to conduct online sports betting for casino games and fantasy sports.
The bill also allows the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) to conduct in-person and online sports wagering, online keno, and online lottery games. The CLC can also conduct in-person sports wagering at up to 15 facilities, which may be licensed off-track betting facilities pursuant to the creation of an operating agreement.
In exchange for the right to conduct these expanded gambling operations, the bill requires monthly payments from the tribes and the CLC to the state’s General Fund ranging from 13.75% to 20% of gross revenues from sports wagering, online casino gaming, and fantasy contests, and annual payments of $500,000 from each tribe and $1 million from the CLC toward certain problem gambling programs. The bill also delays the authorization of an off-reservation casino gaming facility in East Windsor for 10 years.
Finally, the bill creates a licensing process for fantasy sports betting sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel. Those sites will be allowed to operate in Connecticut like any other form of sports wagering after the state creates regulations and issues licenses to them.