Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has struck an agreement with the Mohegan Tribe to launch new gambling products, including sports betting and igaming, in the state.
The agreement, signed by Lamont and Mohegan Tribe chair James Gessner Jr, sets a 20% tax rate for online gaming, and a 13.75% rate for sports wagering.
It makes significant concessions to the Connecticut Lottery, which will gain the right to operate 15 retail betting locations, as well as an online sports betting skin. These include new retail venues in Hartford and Bridgeport.
The lottery will also have the right to sub-license some of those locations to the state’s licensed pari-mutuel operator Sportech.
The license agreement will run for an initial ten-year term, with the option for a five-year extension, and could generate “tens of millions of dollars in new revenue for the state”, the Governor’s office said. Before the agreement can come into force, it must be approved by the Secretary of the US Department of the Interior.
“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming,” Governor Lamont explained.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut.”
Mohegan Tribe chairman Gessner added that the operator of the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville was proud to have struck the agreement.
“This path will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, and help keep Connecticut with those states when it comes to growing our economy and benefiting the state budget,” Gessner said.
“We’re thankful to Governor Lamont and his team, and we look forward to continued work with the General Assembly as this process continues.”
Efforts to expand legal gambling in Connecticut have been stepped up this year, with Lamont confirming his intention to launch betting and igaming in his State of the State address in January.
He then included revenue from these verticals in the state’s 2022-23 budget, estimating that up to $47.3m would flow into state coffers by the end of its 2023 fiscal year.
Mohegan is well-placed to roll out sports betting and igaming, with the tribe already active in New Jersey, where it operates the Resorts Casino Hotel, and Pennsylvania, where it sub-licenses Kindred’s Unibet and hosts an on-property sportsbook.
It also has a deal in place with Kambi, which will power the launch of online and retail wagering in Connecticut when regulation permits.
The announcement made no mention of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which holds exclusive rights to offer gambling in the state alongside the Mohegan Tribe. It operates Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, and struck a deal with DraftKings to launch real-money and daily fantasy sports in December last year.
iGB North America understands that negotiations between the Governor and the Mashantucket Pequot are continuing, with an agreement likely to be close.
Image: Mohegan Sun