Gamblers in Connecticut could be betting on sports as early as next week as the state regulators approved the rules for the new industry Tuesday.
The Regulation Review Committee passed the 82-page document that laid out regulations for the sports betting and online gambling market by a 9-4 margin and with bipartisan support, according to a report from the Hartford Courant. They were passed as emergency regulations so that gamblers could begin placing bets by Sept. 9, which is the first day of the NFL season.
Last March, the state’s two federally recognized tribes agreed to a deal with Gov. Ned Lamont that would allow the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe to offer sports betting and online gambling, including online poker. The Connecticut Lottery would also be allowed to offer sportsbooks.
Two months later, after the deal was in place, the state legislature passed a bill that would allow for the markets to emerge, creating the largest gambling expansion in state history. Afterwards, lawmakers went to work on amending the existing gaming compact.
Since the issue deals with federally recognized tribes, the compact still needs approval from the Department of the Interior, which is the federal agency that deals with tribal affairs. After that, there isn’t anything legislatively standing in the way of the launch.
“We expect action from the federal Department of Interior within the next two weeks on the compact amendments submitted in late July, and it is our understanding that that once that approval comes, the state Department of Consumer Protection will issue master wagering licenses,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, told the Courant. “With the NFL season kickoff fast approaching, we are working to launch online gaming and sports betting as soon as we are legally allowed to do so.”
One of the more contentious issues in the regulations were the use of credit cards to fund online accounts. Regulators decided to let an individual register one credit card to his or her accounts, but payment methods like PayPal and Venmo would not be allowed.
Since the rules were passed as emergency measures, the state can still amend them over the next six months.
A launch date for online gambling and poker has not yet been announced.