Legal Connecticut sports betting may be coming very soon after the state House of Representatives approved on Thursday a long-awaited gambling agreement signed between Gov. Ned Lamont and the state’s two federally-recognized tribes.
The bill directs the Governor to amend the state’s compacts with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to allow both to offer legal Connecticut sports betting, online gambling, and online fantasy contests in exchange for a share of their gambling revenues.
With a vote of 122 to 21 in favor of the legislation, is now headed to the Senate. If, as expected, it passes the Senate, the amended agreements will then need federal approval.
Said Rep, Maria Horn, the co-chair of the Public Safety Committee in the house:
“This bill that we see tonight is the culmination of many, many years of work heading in many directions in Connecticut.”
Retail and Internet Sports Gambling in 15 locations
The agreement allows the State Lottery Corporation to offer online and retail Connecticut sports betting at 15 different locations, including two specifically located in Hartford and Bridgeport.
Tax rates for internet gambling will be a 18% of gross revenues for the first five years of operations, and 20% for the next five years, with an option to continue for another five years. Retail Connecticut sports betting and fantasy sports betting will be taxed at 13.75% of gross revenues.
Not Everyone is Pleased
But while the supporters of the Connecticut sports betting bill rejoiced, not everyone was pleased. East Windsor area lawmakers voted against the agreement which prevents the tribes from building a planned satellite casino in town to compete with the MGM casino in nearby Springfield during the first 10 years of the new agreement with the state.
Meanwhile, state-licensed parimutuel operator Sportech questioned the constitutionality of the agreement while expressing hope that it could reach a similar agreement with the state. According to Paul Mounds, the chief of staff of the governor, the deal allows the Lottery to sublicense the sports betting operations to Sportech.