Connecticut iGaming and Online Sports Betting Goes Live

Posted on: October 19, 2021, 07:07h. 

Last updated on: July 26, 2022, 10:21h.

Connecticut this morning became the sixth state in the country to launch legal, regulated online gambling.

Connecticut sports betting iGaming Foxwoods Mohegan Sun
The DraftKings sportsbook at Foxwoods takes in-person bets in late September 2021. Its online sportsbook went live today in Connecticut, along with competitors FanDuel and Rush Street. (Image: AP)

As of 6:00 am ET today, October 19, people aged 21 and older inside Connecticut’s borders are able to gamble on their computers, smartphones, and mobile devices. Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes — the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation — have respectively partnered with FanDuel and DraftKings for their iGaming and sportsbooks.

The Connecticut Lottery is operating mobile sports betting with its gaming partner, Rush Street Interactive. The lottery, however, is not permitted to run online casino games, as that expanded gaming is reserved for the tribes.

This is an exciting moment for our state and our tribal partners,” declared Governor Ned Lamont (D). “Connecticut has proven to be a leader when it comes to the gaming economy, going back decades, and that legacy will continue with the launch of these new online options.”

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) crafted the iGaming and mobile sports betting regulations. The DCP has approved more than 130 games that the two interactive casino platforms can offer gamblers.

Connecticut became the sixth state with online casinos featuring slots and table games. The others are New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, and Michigan. Nevada has online poker, but no other internet games.

Rodney Butler, tribal chair of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said the first mobile sports bet wagered this morning at 6 am sharp was placed on the Los Angeles Dodgers making a comeback in the National League Championship Series against the Atlanta Braves.

Retail Revenue Returns

Business at the tribes’ two integrated resorts — Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods — is slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels.

In September, Mohegan Sun reported gross gaming revenue (GGR) of $43.4 million from its slot machines. Foxwoods slots won $31 million off of gamblers.

In September 2019, Mohegan Sun’s slot win totaled $44.6 million, and Foxwoods $35.9 million. While both numbers are better than last month, September 2021 showed a continued recovery. The two casinos combined to win $67.8 million in September 2020, nearly 10 percent less than September 2021.

The tribes share 25 percent of their slot win with the state. Connecticut expanding the tribes’ Class III gaming compacts will help the state offset some of the slot machine tax losses that have resulted over the past 15 years due to new competition throughout New England.

The tribes will share 18 percent of their iGaming GGR with Connecticut. Their sports betting win will be taxed at 13.75 percent.

iGaming Dominates Sports Betting

Sports betting is all the hype in the US gaming industry. With the four major professional sports leagues embracing sports wagering, and billions of dollars in legal bets being placed across the country legally this year, sports betting is understandably highlighted and much-discussed.

However, for the gaming operators, sports betting is considered a small margin business. iGaming is not.

New Jersey, one of the richest sports betting states, along with Nevada, reported record handle of more than $1 billion bet in September 2021. Of the massive amount wagered, oddsmakers kept $48.4 million.

While the headlines featured New Jersey bettors risking over $1 billion last month on sports, iGaming generated vastly more gross gaming revenue for the Atlantic City casinos and their interactive partners. GGR from internet casinos totaled $122.6 million last month.