Sports bettors in Connecticut will likely be able to begin placing wagers on sporting events in October.
According to a report from the Denver Gazette, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe received the go-ahead from the Bureau of Indian Affairs late last week after the agency approved the new gaming compacts that were submitted to them over the summer.
There were reports at the end of August that said sports betting could launch by Sept. 9, in time for the first week of the NFL season. Those reports came after the state’s Regulation Review Committee passed the market’s rules as emergency regulations, which would allow for quicker implementation.
Despite passing the regulations, the state was still waiting on the Department of Interior to pass the amended gaming compacts. The Bureau of Indian Affairs is the smaller agency within the DOI that deals with all tribal affairs.
There was hope that the DOI would pass the compacts in time for the start of the NFL season, but the slight delay from the feds pushed back the launch.
According to a press release from Gov. Ned Lamont’s office, the state “will now continue [the] licensing process and the review to certify the gaming platforms.”
While the press release targeted an October launch for sports betting, it made no mention of the online poker market.
When the two federally recognized tribes agreed to a deal that would allow both the tribes and the Connecticut Lottery to offer sports betting, it was also promised that the tribes would be able to offer online gambling, including poker.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe chairman Rodney Butler told another media outlet last April that while the tribe wants to offer online poker, it will likely need another state to partner with to make it a viable business option.
“That’s not my area of expertise, but I at least now enough that liquidity matters,” Butler told PlayCT. “We only have 3.5 million people in the state of Connecticut, and how many of those are going to play poker online? So we’re going to need to have those agreements with either other states or other tribes.”
West Virginia, another small state that legalized online poker in 2019, is also trying to secure an interstate partnership before launching its market.