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Connecticut Reaches Agreement With Tribes on Modernized Gaming Options

  • Governor Ned Lamont announces deal with Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes on online gaming and sports wagering
  • Agreement sets tax rates and brings on Connecticut Lottery Corporation as a partner
  • Lamont says the gaming expansion would result in tens of millions of dollars in new state revenues

Summary by Dirk Langeveld

Connecticut has reached an agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes on online gaming and sports wagering, clearing the way for a major expansion of gambling options in the state.

Governor Ned Lamont, Mashantucket Pequot Tribe Chairman Rodney Butler, and Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner Jr. announced the agreement Thursday. They said the new gaming options will generate tens of millions of dollars in new state revenues and allow Connecticut to stay competitive with neighboring states.

The agreement establishes an 18 percent tax rate on new online commercial casino gaming for the first five years, after which it increases to 20 percent. It also establishes a 13.75 percent tax rate on sports wagering.

The agreement gives the Connecticut Lottery Corporation a significant role in the new gaming options, permitting it to operate 15 retail sports betting locations along with an online sports betting presence. It will also have the right to sublicense locations to the state-licensed parimutuel operator, undertake new retail sports betting venues in Bridgeport and Hartford, and expand its iLottery and Keno options, including the online sale of draw tickets.

The agreement runs for 10 years, with the option of a five-year extension, and the tribes will halt development on an East Windsor casino during this time. This development had already been put on hold as of December as the tribes turned their attention to shoring up their Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino locations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The terms still need to be approved by the Connecticut General Assembly as well as the Department of the Interior. The proposal will likely set up a discussion over whether the easier access to gaming options will lead to more problem gambling and what can be done to mitigate this risk.

There are already several proposals before the legislature calling for Connecticut to authorize sports wagering and online gaming. The most consequential bill has been drafted by committee and has 26 co-sponsors.

As part of his two-year budget proposal, Lamont included a proposal to authorize sports wagering and online gaming to open up a new source of state revenue.

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