One of the two major tribal entities in Connecticut reached an agreement with the state government regarding legal sports betting in the state.
According to a report from the CT Post, Gov. Ned Lamont and the Mohegan Tribal Nation, owner of the Mohegan Sun casino in southeastern Connecticut, have agreed to terms on legalizing sports betting. The other major tribe, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, owner of Foxwoods, have not agreed to anything as of yet.
For the last two years, Lamont was in negotiations with both tribes over terms of a sports betting agreement. Under the current gaming compact with the state, the tribes have exclusivity on all casino gaming. The debate between the government and tribes is centered around whether sports betting falls under that category.
The Mohegan Tribe agreed to let the Connecticut Lottery run sports betting operations in other parts of the state, paving the way for a deal to be made.
Under the agreement, the Connecticut Lottery will be able to operate up to 15 retail sportsbooks and provide online betting as well. The first two will be located in Hartford and Bridgeport, which are both located at least an hour away from Mohegan’s casinos.
The Mohegan Tribe will be allowed to operate both retail and online sportsbooks as well and have been positioned to do so for a while. In 2019, the tribe entered into an agreement with Kambi Group, a Malta-based sports betting company, which will run the tribe’s online sportsbook when it launches.
The deal will tax new online gambling revenue at 20 percent and take 13.75 percent on any sports betting revenue. It seems likely that more online gambling will be allowed in the near future considering that Lamont allotted tax revenue from online gambling in his recent budget proposal.
Paul Mounds, Lamont’s chief of staff, told the CT Post that even though the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe didn’t agree to anything yet, they were very close to a deal.
There was no announcement on a start date for sports betting. Lamont’s budget proposal that included online gaming and sports betting, however, doesn’t start until July 1, 2023.