Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont came to an agreement with one of the two major tribes at the start of March regarding sports betting and online gambling.
In the following weeks, the other has agreed to terms and now both the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation are on board with a deal that will likely bring expanded gambling to the state within a few months.
The agreement will allow the Connecticut Lottery, as well as both tribal entities to run sports betting, according to a report from local media. The Mohegan Tribe agreed to terms a few weeks ago before continued negotiations were able to get the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe to accept terms.
As part of the agreement, the government will tax all online casino gaming, which should include online poker, at 18% for the first five years of the market before it increases to 20% for the following five years.
Sports betting revenue, however, will be taxed at 13.75%, and the Connecticut Lottery will have the right to operate 15 retail locations and one online sportsbook. Two of the retail locations will be in Hartford and Bridgeport. The tribes also agreed to pause the construction of the proposed casino in East Windsor for the next decade. The tribes own the two casinos in the state, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, and were partnering up for the third property.
“Connecticut is on cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience for our residents, which will be competitive with our neighboring states,” said Lamont in a press conference. “It’s something all our neighbors are doing, something to bring cities and towns back to life.”
Mashantucket Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler told a local reporter that he expects the agreement to get through the legislature in the next month and get approval from regulators in the following months. Butler expects that the state will have online gambling and sports betting by the end of summer.
Once the legislature approves the deal, the current gaming compact would need to be rewritten to reflect the new agreement and it must go before the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs would need to sign off on the agreement as well before the market can be launched.
With the recent ruling on the Wire Act, which allows for interstate online poker, Connecticut would be able to pair up with other states for shared liquidity if it chooses to.