Connecticut sports betting – Legal Sports Report


Connecticut is one of a handful of states with a new?sports betting?law on the books. In 2017, lawmakers passed a gaming package which calls on regulators to establish regulations for the industry within the state.

Single-game wagering remains federally illegal?outside of Nevada under PASPA, but that ban is being challenged in the US?Supreme Court. Should the court rule in favor of the states, they could be permitted to set their own rules regarding sports betting.

Connecticut?s law lays dormant pending movement at the federal level in 2018, and likely pending new legislation that gives more direction to gaming regulators in the state.

Latest Connecticut sports betting news

  • Foxwoods sports betting

    One of the two Native American tribes in Connecticut is asking lawmakers to move forward with?sports betting.

  • NBA MLB empty pockets

    Connecticut lawmakers say they?ll work with leagues to ensure that legal sports betting doesn’t undermine the integrity of their game. Compensating them directly, however? That…

  • Connecticut sports betting 2018

    Connecticut lawmakers held a press conference about sports betting before a pair of informational hearings on gambling expansion over the next two weeks.

Legal sports betting basics in Connecticut

Connecticut has several forms of legal gambling outside of sports betting.

The state?s two tribal casinos generate billions of dollars in annual revenue from table games, slots?and bingo. They?re owned by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, who are planning to build a third casino near East Windsor. Connecticut also has a significant pari-mutuel wagering industry (including off-track horse betting) and a state lottery.

In 2017, Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the gaming expansion that granted permission for the East Windsor casino. It was accompanied by a ?sweetener bill? which included (1) a new advisory council for large entertainment venues, (2) an expansion to the state?s OTBs, and (3) the direction to establish sports betting regulations if federal hurdles are removed.

Here?s what the law says:

The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to regulate wagering on sporting events to the extent permitted by state and federal law.

The law passed just prior to the US Supreme Court taking up the issue of New Jersey sports betting. The nation?s highest court is expected to rule during the first half of 2018, and its decision will set the tone for the industry nationwide.

Regulators in Connecticut aren?t quite ready to move forward, though. The Department of Consumer Protection asked the legislature for more guidance, spawning a series of investigative hearings on the topic.

In the time since passage, lawmakers have become educated about the sports betting industry as they look to shape the Division?s framework. Lobbyists from the NBA and MLB have testified in support of CT sports betting, provided the regulations include integrity fees paid directly to them.

Connecticut sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Connecticut?

Yes and no. Connecticut?s law directs regulators to adopt sports betting regulations if federal prohibitions are relaxed. However, sports betting remains illegal federally. Also, it appears the state is not going to move forward on sports wagering without more enabling legislation.

Who would oversee Connecticut sports betting?

The Department of Consumer Protection?(DCP) oversees the state?s current gambling activity and is tasked with doing the same for sports betting.

Where can I bet on sports in Connecticut?

Nowhere currently. Regulators and lawmakers will determine which forms of sports betting are permitted and how/where those wagers can be placed.

Who can apply for a Connecticut sports betting license?

There is no current application process to offer sports betting in Connecticut.

Who will be able to bet on sports in?Connecticut?

The legal gambling age is 21 for casino gaming and 18 for pari-mutuel wagering.

Will mobile sports betting be available in?Connecticut?

It?s too early to say for sure, but lawmakers have explored allowing mobile and internet betting. League lobbyists argue that mobile betting is necessary to capture more wagers that are currently being made illegally or offshore.

Connecticut sports betting timeline

2018: CT hearing on sports betting

In March, the Public Safety and Security Committee held an exploratory hearing on sports betting. Lawyers from the NBA and MLB attended to pitch their list of wants, including the ability to restrict wagers and the right to collect an integrity fee.

The committee spent hours digging into the details of the industry, including what sorts of regulation make the most sense. Where and on which sports should wagering be allowed? What sort of fee and tax structure would make Connecticut competitive? Should the leagues be allowed to have a ?data monopoly? with regard to official stats? Why should they receive a cut at all?

Lawmakers pushed back on the integrity fee, which the NBA lawyer referred to as a ?royalty fee.? The leagues argue that the strength of their brand and the need to bolster their monitoring tools necessitate inclusion in the revenue from sports betting. They?re asking for one percent of all money wagered, which could amount to a lot of money.

The committee?s chair, Rep. Joe Verrengia, said he is not interested in ?lining the pockets? of leagues through CT sports betting.

Foxwoods Resort Casino later submitted testimony saying it favors legalization.

2017: Connecticut legalizes sports betting?

Public Act 17-209 is the law that moves to regulate sports betting in Connecticut.?The Act directs the DCP to expand their oversight to the new industry to the extent permitted by state and federal law.

Shortly after passage, the Department indicated that it was aware of its new responsibilities:

DCP is tasked with adopting regulations to regulate wagering on sporting events to the extent permitted by state and federal law. The Department is also aware of the New Jersey case that the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up and will continue to monitor federal activity surrounding sports betting.

The DCP subsequently asked for more guidance in establishing the regulatory framework for Connecticut sports betting.


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