DraftKings, Mashantucket Tribe Set for Anticipated January Sports Betting Launch in Connecticut

  • DraftKings will power retail and online sports betting at the tribe’s Foxwoods Resort Casino
  • Foxwoods is set to launch DraftKings daily fantasy sports on December 13
  • Another version of bill SB 21 will go before the Connecticut legislature in January 2021
  • The tribal chairman believed the state would have passed bill in 2020, save for COVID-19
With Connecticut expected to legalize sports betting in January 2021, DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have struck a strategic, multi-channel partnership. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Multi-channel deal includes daily fantasy sports

DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have joined forces in a multi-channel deal ahead of the anticipated debut of legal sports betting in Connecticut.

The partnership means the Massachusetts-based sports betting giant will power retail and online sports wagering at the tribe’s Foxwoods Resort Casino and also offer mobile gaming, subject to necessary state legislative and regulatory approvals.

DraftKings, which announced the partnerships’ preparation for online sports wagering on Twitter, will also become Foxwoods’ first official daily fantasy sports partner when it launches on December 13.

According to The Day, a Connecticut daily newspaper and online news provider, State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) has said she will “submit another version” of the sports betting and online gaming bill, SB 21, before the state legislature in January 2021.

Tribe ready to rumble

In a news release, Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, said that linking up with DraftKings placed the tribe in the pole position in the gaming and entertainment industry.

the tribe is now “ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut”

Butler said the tribe is now “ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut […] bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment.”

“If not for the pandemic, I think we would have gotten it passed last year,” The Day quotes Butler as saying. Butler was making reference to the 2020 bill introduced by Senator Osten, the state leader who continues to spearhead efforts for the state to legalize sports betting.

Under long-established accords in the Constitution State, the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes have exclusive rights to operate gaming in Connecticut, with the state receiving 25% of the tribes’ slot revenue in return.

While a DraftKings news release says the agreement has made Connecticut over $8bn in revenue to date, it projects that sports betting and online gaming could generate the state $175m in new revenue over five years, once all the legislation passes muster.

DraftKings extends territorial front

With the Mashantucket deal, DraftKings has made a strategic territorial advance across the Eastern Seaboard. In addition to Connecticut, it holds positions in New England, New Jersey, and the New York Tri-State area.

Co-founder and president of DraftKings North America, Matt Kalish, said the US-wide expansion of legal sports wagering was among his company’s foremost strategic objectives, and that the “landmark deal” was a “critical next step.”

DraftKings today is live with mobile sports betting in 10 states, more than any other operator”

“DraftKings today is live with mobile sports betting in 10 states, more than any other operator in the U.S […] the tribe will allow us to extend our reach even further,” Kalish said.

Interim CEO and president of Foxwoods Resort Casino, Jason Guyot, said merging his casino’s 29-year gaming experience with DraftKings’ “deep digital expertise” will enable Foxwoods to remain at the vanguard of gaming innovation, within and beyond the region.

As Foxwoods’ official daily fantasy sports partner, DraftKings will boost fan engagement via online promotions, competitions, and other integrated digital experiences when it launches on Sunday.

“Offering daily fantasy sports allows us to bring a new type of compelling and interactive online experience to our passionate sport fans,” Guyot added.

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