A week after Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont got the two tribal nations to agree to a new online gambling and sports betting deal, the first steps of launching that new market took place in the legislature.
The Joint Public Safety and Security Committee passed three bills dealing with online gambling and sports betting. Those bills will now move to the general floors of their respective legislature, where they will receive a full vote.
The committee passed HB 6451, which was a bill that codifies the agreement between Lamont and the tribes into law. The agreement allows the Mohegan Tribe, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Connecticut Lottery to run both online and retail sports betting. As part of the agreement, the lottery will be allowed to have up to 15 retail locations, but each entity is only allowed one online sportsbook.
Both tribes, which own the two casinos in the state, will also be allowed to offer online casino games, which should include poker.
The committee also passed SB 146 and HB 6512. The Senate bill deals with tax allocation from the new revenue sources, which would be used for local aid to municipalities. According to the agreement, sports betting will be taxed at 13.75%, while internet gambling and sports betting will have a higher rate of 18%. It will stay at that rate for the first five years and jump to 20% for the second five years.
The current agreement is only in place for 10 years with an option to extend it for another five at the end of the term. HB 6512 deals with consumer protections for the sports betting market.
According to the CT Mirror, Sportech, which is licensed to offer off-track betting throughout the state, is threatening a lawsuit if the company is kept out of the online sports betting market.
Lamont’s deal with the tribes would allow the Connecticut Lottery numerous retail locations, most of which would be run at Sportech locations, but they are not currently in line to have a piece of the online market.
While the Mashantucket Pequot tribe has partnered with DraftKings to run its sportsbook operations, and the Mohegan tribe inked a deal with Kambi, the Lottery has yet to announce an online sports betting partner, which could give Sportech a route to the online market.