Online Sports Betting, Gaming in Connecticut Clears Final Hurdle

Decision by federal Bureau of Indian Affairs means online sports betting and gaming in Connecticut could start in October.
Online Sports Betting, Gaming in Connecticut Clears Final Hurdle
By
September 11, 2021

The US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has given final approval to revised gaming compacts between Connecticut and the state’s two federally-recognized tribes.

With BIA approval now in hand, the state and the two tribes—the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe, which own and operate the Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun casinos, respectively—can move forward with plans to provide sports betting and online gaming to residents of the Constitution State.

Online sports betting and casino games are likely to go live in October.

“This critical step in the process of modernizing our gaming landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online,” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said.

Lamont, a Democrat, added that the BIA’s decision “puts Connecticut on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that will be competitive with our neighboring states and positions us for success into the future.”

On August 31, the Connecticut Regulation Review Committee approved temporary—officially, “emergency”—regulations to allow sports betting and online gaming. The proposed rules were drafted by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (CDCP), after Lamont signed legislation to legalize online sports betting and gaming on May 27.

Regulators will establish permanent rules in the near future.

Lamont’s office said the CDCP would “continue the licensing process and the review necessary to certify the gaming platforms.”

The bill signed into law by Lamont authorized each tribe to offer sports betting online and at sportsbooks inside their land-based casinos. It also gave the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) permission to offer online sports betting at 15 retail locations, so long as they are located at least 25 miles from a tribe’s land-based casino.

The sports betting partners are already lined up. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation announced a partnership with DraftKings last December, and the Mohegan Tribe followed suit with a similar partnership with FanDuel in July. The CLC tapped Rush Street Interactive, which operates the BetRivers and SugarHouse brands, to be its online sports betting partner last month.

Emergency rules total 82 pages

The emergency regulations promulgated by the CDCP were outlined in an 82-page document made public on August 16.

The outline covers a wide variety of topics, including requirements for live dealer and peer-to-peer online casino gaming. That section stipulates that “simulcasting of live casino gaming may be conducted in another state” through March 31, 2022, and broadcast online by a licensed operator.

Separate sections of the new regulations show the CDCP’s definition of peer-to-peer gaming includes poker, and that every house-banked online casino game, excluding a progressive jackpot, must have a return to player payout rate greater than or equal to 80%.

Additional rules state that once a player’s lifetime deposits exceed $2,500, the electronic platform the player is using shall prevent the player from making any additional wagers until they either acknowledge that they have the capability to establish responsible gaming limits or they close their account. Players who reach the lifetime gaming deposit threshold of $2,500 will continue to receive such notices every six months.

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