Connecticut Senate approves online gambling bill

The state of Connecticut is one step closer to getting online betting and casino off the ground.

Connecticut’s state senate has approved a piece of legislation that would legalise online sports betting, fantasy sports contests, and other forms of online gambling.

Last week, the same bill was approved by the Connecticut House of Representatives by a vote of 122-21.

Connecticut Senate approves bill

Earlier this week, the state’s Senate approved HB 6451, a bill that would formalise the agreements that Connecticut’s Governor made with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes back in March, by a vote of 28-6. 

The legislation will now be sent to Governor Ned Lamont for approval at which point the measure could be signed into law.

In a statement, Lamont applauded the vote to approve the measure and said that he plans to sign the bill into law in the coming days.

After being signed, the bill will require approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the US Department of Interior to amend the state’s compact with the tribes. The federal agency will then need to approve the changes to the compact before online gaming and sports wagering can begin in the state.

If successful, the new rules and regulations would come into effect from 1 January 2022.

Lamont said: “I want to congratulate and thank the Connecticut General Assembly for approving historic legislation, negotiated by my office, which modernizes Connecticut’s gaming landscape.

“I also want to thank our tribal partners, the Mohegan Tribe, and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, for their constructive and collaborative efforts, both in negotiating the agreement and working through the details of this legislation. 

“This is a significant moment for our state as, for the first time, we will allow sports wagering, online casino gaming, and entry of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation into this space. I look forward to signing this legislation into law, which is in the best interests of the State of Connecticut and its citizens.”

What does the bill look like?

The legislation aims to formalise proposed amendments to compact agreements between the state and its tribal gambling partners.

Under the amended compacts, Connecticut’s tribes would be permitted to offer online and land-based sports betting in the state, along with online casino gaming and fantasy sports contests.

Each tribe would be able to operate one skin for online sports betting and one skin for online casinos. Meanwhile, land-based sportsbooks would only be allowed to operate inside a casino.

The legislation also states that the Connecticut Lottery Corporation would be able to operate one skin for online sports betting outside of tribal lands. Retail betting would also be permitted at 15 locations across the state.

In April, the Connecticut Lottery revealed it had received 15 operator applications for sports betting in the state.

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