Connecticut tribal compact bill progresses to Senate

The state of Connecticut is one step closer to legalising online sports betting and casino gambling.

The Connecticut House of Representatives has approved a bill that would ratify compact amendments and allow the state’s two tribal gambling operators to offer sports betting and online gambling.

This comes after Governor Ted Lamont announced agreements with the state’s two tribal gambling partners in March. 

Connecticut House passes compact bill

Yesterday, the Connecticut House of Representatives passed HB 6451, a bill that would formalise the agreements that Connecticut’s Governor made with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes back in March.

The measure was approved by a vote of 122-21 and will now be sent to the Connecticut Senate for further consideration.

If the measure is approved in the Senate it will then pass to Lamont for approval, before being sent to the US Department of the Interior for final review before coming into law.

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

Speaking on the progress of the bill, Lamont said: “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.

“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.”

What’s covered in the measure?

HB 6451 aims to formalise the proposed amendments to the tribal gaming compacts with the state.

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.

Online gambling activities would be permitted on-premises at the tribal venues and outside of the facilities.

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.

When it comes to fees, each tribe would pay 13.75% of gross gaming revenue from all sports betting operations to the state’s General Fund. In regard to online casinos, tribes would pay 18% to the fund during the first five years of operation and this would increase to 20% from the sixth year of operation.

Meanwhile, the Connecticut Lottery would pay 13.75% of gross gaming revenue from sports wagering into the General Fund.

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