Connecticut Sports Betting, iGaming Regulations Gain Legislative Approval

Posted on: September 1, 2021, 12:03h. 

Last updated on: September 1, 2021, 10:58h.

Connecticut sports betting and online gaming regulations have gained approval from the state’s Legislative Regulation Review Committee (LRRC).

Connecticut sports betting iGaming online gambling
A welcome sign in Connecticut greets travelers. The state is inching closer to welcoming sports bettors and online gamblers. (Image: Shutterstock)

The committee voted 9-4 today in favor of approving 82 pages of regulations related to the pending emergence of legal sportsbooks, both online and in-person, plus governing rules for online casino gambling.

The four “no” votes were all from Republicans who voiced concerns regarding iGaming funding. The dissenting group called for emergency stipulations that would allow sports betting to move forward in time for the NFL season, but require the committee to revisit certain conditions at a later date.

Democratic members, however, voted to ratify the regulatory package. Now, all that remains before people inside Connecticut can bet on sports is final approval from the US Department of the Interior (DOI).

Federal Decision

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) signed legislation that amends the state’s Class III gaming compacts with its two tribes on May 27.

The package adds retail and online sports betting, as well as internet slots and table games, to the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes’ gambling repertoire. The tribal groups respectively own and operate Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun.

The gaming expansion package Lamont signed doesn’t only apply to the state’s tribal interests. Instead, the bill allows the Connecticut Lottery to operate 15 sports betting locations across the state, plus online sportsbooks. The Connecticut Lottery earlier this month awarded Chicago-based Rush Street Interactive its sports betting privileges.

Connecticut lawmakers set the sports betting tax rate at 13.75 percent, regardless of whether the gross gaming revenue (GGR) is derived online or at a land-based location.

Online casinos, which applies only to the tribes — not the lottery — will be subject to an 18 percent GGR tax on interactive slots and tables. After five years, the tribes will be required to share 20 percent of their iGaming revenue.

The DOI must approve of all Class III gaming arrangements between states and federally recognized tribes. The Interior Department has 45 days to issue a ruling. The federal agency confirmed receipt of the revised documents on July 26, meaning the agency deadline to respond is Thursday, September 9 — the same day the 2021-22 NFL season kicks off.

Once DOI approves the new compacts, as the federal agency is expected to, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection will be able to issue sports betting and iGaming licenses.

Mohegan Sun has partnered with FanDuel and Foxwoods with DraftKings.

Numerous Regulations

Connecticut’s sports betting and iGaming rules were dictated by the legislature itself. The LRRC’s role is to review legislative regulations and approve them before a law is applied.

The committee states that its objective is to make sure that an approved bill’s associated regulations “have the force of law,” and its conditions “do not contravene the legislative intent, or conflict with current state or federal laws, or state or federal constitutions.”

The 82 pages of regulations cover everything from the licensing process to the most minute details. An example of the latter is a mandate that requires signs next to ATM machines at sports betting locations. The signage will inform players of problem gambling resources. Such signage must be at least 12 inches by 12 inches.

One much more consequential regulation is that licensed sportsbooks are prohibited from offering odds on collegiate games involving Connecticut schools.