The US Department of the Interior (DoI) has given its approval to proposed revisions to gaming compacts between the state of Connecticut and both the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Tribe.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont agreed the amended compacts with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes in March this year as part of an effort to legalize sports betting and online casino across the state.
In May, Lamont signed off on a bill to legalize online sports wagering, fantasy sports and other forms of igaming.
The bill formalized the compacts and will allow the tribes to offer sports betting online and at land-based sportsbooks at the casinos they operate. The tribes will also be able to offer igaming and fantasy sports competitions, with each tribe permitted to operate one skin for online sports betting and another for igaming.
In addition, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation can run one skin for sports wagering outside tribal lands, as well as retail betting at 15 locations across the state, provided they are located at least 25 miles from tribal reservations.
Clearance from the DoI means the state is now one step closer to opening its legal market. In preparation for this, the Connecticut General Assembly’s Regulation Review Committee last week approved regulations for sports betting and online gaming.
The department will now continue the licensing process and the review necessary to certify the gaming platforms, with the aim of launching legal sports betting and igaming from next month.
“This critical step in the process of modernizing our gaming landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online,” Governor Lamont said.
“I thank the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approving these revisions, as well as the efforts of our partners with the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Today’s announcement puts Connecticut on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that will be competitive with our neighboring states and positions us for success into the future.”
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation chairman Rodney Butler also welcomed the ruling, saying it would help introduce an “exciting new chapter” for the state.
“This expansion will allow us to enhance investments in support of our tribe, to contribute additional revenue to the State of Connecticut, and to provide a new level of entertainment for our guests,” Butler said.
Mohegan Tribal Council chairman James Gessner added: “Modernizing our gaming industry will help protect and create Connecticut jobs, and it will generate tax revenues to the benefit of both state and local municipal budgets, as well as our tribe’s members.
“This is not just a regional issue – it will have a statewide impact as Connecticut works to meet critical needs as it recovers from the pandemic. Today is a milestone achievement for Connecticut and its tribal nations.”