Connecticut May Be Next State to Legalize Sports Betting

Skyline of downtown Hartford, Connecticut

30-second summary

  • Connecticut could be next state to join in on sports betting
  • Casino in East Windsor has been approved in East Windsor
  • Governor says sports betting could be the way forward
  • Four bills to be reviewed at Feb. 27 hearing

Connecticut will possibly be the next state to push online and sports gambling over the line. As it stands, two federally-approved tribes have been granted permission to open a new casino in East Windsor. And four gambling-related bills will be reviewed at a hearing in Hartford on February w7. 

Since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on sports gambling in May last year, states across the US have been reviewing their legislation in order to join in on the lucrative industry. Will Connecticut be the next to legalize sports betting?

Four bills up for debate

At the moment, there are four bills under consideration. One is a bill to allow the two federally-approved tribes in the state, the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots, to introduce sportsbook through their casinos and mobile platforms. Submitted by Senator Cathy Osten, it would also allow the Connecticut Lottery to offer an online keno game in conjunction with the two tribes.

Another bill would remove the requirement that tribes have to receive federal approval to operate in the state. After years of communication between these two tribes, the possibility of a joint venture into a casino project could emerge, as they already have the permission to build a casino resort in East Windsor. However, though both are federally approved, only the Mohegan tribe has been recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior, whereas the Mashantucket Pequots have not.

The prospects of having an integrated casino resort in another Connecticut city, Bridgeport, would need another bill to pass. Though MGM Resorts has been pushing such a bill for several years, a similar piece of legislation was proposed in 2017 that did not make it to the House floor.

The fourth and final bill focuses only on the sports betting aspect, seemingly to compete with Rhode Island, the only other nearby state to have approved sports betting. This is an effort to fast-track the legalization of sports betting in Connecticut.

The Governor’s support

In a budget speech last week, Governor Ned Lamont mentioned how Connecticut needs a new source of revenue and said that online and sports gambling could be the way forward, suggesting that they have his backing.

All four bills will be reviewed at a hearing on Wednesday, February 26, in the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.