The Connecticut House of Representatives has voted through a bill that would ratify compact amendments allowing the state’s two tribal operators to offer igaming and sports betting.
House Bill 6451 was approved last night (May 20) by a vote of 122-21 and will now progress to the state’s Senate for further debate and discussion.
Should it also gain approval in the Senate, the bill would move to Governor Ned Lamont for sign-off, then to the US Department of the Interior for final review before coming into law.
Introduced by Representative Brian Smith, HB 6451, seeks to formalize agreements Lamont reached with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes in March of this year.
The amended gaming compacts would permit the tribes to offer sports betting online and at land-based sportsbooks, as well as igaming and fantasy sports contests.
Online gaming and sports betting would be accessible both on-site at the tribes’ land-based casinos, as well as outside the facilities. Each tribe would be permitted to operate one skin for online sports betting and one for igaming.
Retail sportsbooks would only be permitted to open inside casinos.
The bill also states that the Connecticut Lottery Corporation would be able to run one skin for online sports betting outside of tribal lands, as well as retail wagering at 15 locations across the state. Any land-based facilities would have to be located at least 25 miles from tribal reservations.
The Corporation could also sell its lottery tickets online and via mobile devices, as well as run keno games on its website and on mobile.
In terms of fees, each tribe would transfer 13.75% of gross gaming revenue from all sports betting activity into the state’s General Fund. This rate would be set at 18.0% for online casino during the first five years of regulation, increasing to 20.0% from year six onwards.
The Connecticut Lottery Corporation would also pay 13.75% of gross gaming revenue from sports wagering into the General Fund.
Fantasy sports operator that launches in the state must pay a licensing fee of $15,000 and an annual renewal fee of the same amount.
Should the bill pass into law, the new rules and regulations would come into effect from January 1, 2022. Lamont said in his State of the State address in January that he would push for legal sports betting and online gambling in 2020.
“I want to thank the Connecticut House of Representatives for the careful consideration and bipartisan passage of legislation that will bring Connecticut’s gaming, lottery, and sports betting market into the future, positioning our state as a leader,” Lamont said.
“I also want to express my appreciation to the co-chairs of the Public Safety Committee, including State Representative Maria Horn, for their partnership as they worked with members of my administration to draft and move this legislation through the process.
“I look forward to this measure’s swift passage in the Senate so we can start the federal process of ensuring this legislation and agreement is authorized.”