A group of Connecticut legislators have put forward a proposal to legalise betting and igaming in the state, following Governor Ned Lamont’s support for legalisation.
The bill – Senate Bill 146 or “An Act Authorizing Sports Wagering, Internet Gaming, Internet Lottery And Internet Keno” – was sponsored by 17 legislators across both major parties and both houses of the legislature.
It has been referred to the legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security.
Senate Bill 146 would allow the two Native American tribes that currently operate casinos in the state – the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut – to offer sports betting at their venues and online, as well as permitting the state lottery to offer online ticket sales and keno.
The bill did not provide further details of how these would be conducted, regulated or taxed, but did say that “reasonable procedures and data security standards for Internet gaming” would be provided and that the new verticals would be put in place to provide revenue to the state.
The bill’s introduction follows Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announcing his support for online betting and gaming in his State of the State address on 6 January.
He said the plan to introduce these verticals was part of a coordinated effort with other Northeastern states – as well as with local tribes – in order to ensure the state doesn’t “surrender these opportunities to out-of-state markets”.
Neighbouring New York – where retail sports betting is already legal at the state’s four upstate casinos – has also laid groundwork to legalise online betting.
Governor Andrew Cuomo, previously an opponent of online betting, reversed course and showed support for the measure in his State of the State address. His proposal would see the state’s land-based casinos permitted to partner with “one or more” online operator, a much more open plan than the framework he was expected to back, which would have granted the lottery a monopoly.