Connecticut Legislature Votes to Legalize Sports Betting...Finally
Finally, after a few years of trying (albeit not very hard in previous years), both houses of Connecticut's state legislature recently passed a bill that legalizes sports wagering, online casino gaming among a few other gambling issues. Gov. Lamont pushed hard for the bill and is expected to sign it into law. I've advocated for legalized sports betting several times here, offered written testimony in support (with modifications) of the bill this year and also wrote an op-ed in the Hartford Business Journal on the subject.
Here is what you need to know about Connecticut's bill:
- Although it will be effective immediately upon signing, a few things need to happen before bets can be legally placed in the state. One is that Gov. Lamont would have to reach agreements with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes to amend their gaming compacts with the state. That should not take long because the governor has been in ongoing negotiations with them that led to this bill. Next, the federal authority, the National Indian Gaming Commission, would have to approve the changes. After that, Connecticut's Department of Consumer Protection would have to establish its own regulations and licensing procedures, then issue licenses. Gov. Lamont hopes that everything will be done in time for football season.
- Sports betting would allowed at the state's casinos, online through the casinos on reservation territory, online through the Connecticut Lottery Corp. in the state but off the reservations and in-person at sports books operated or subcontracted by the Lottery Corp.
- Bets cannot be made on college teams that are based in the state except for when they are in tournaments
- The bill also legalizes, subject to restrictions and license requirements, online casino gaming, online lottery ticket sales, keno and for-profit fantasy sports
- Bookmaking and betting outside of the legal channels will remain criminal
- Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 13.75%