The Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the revisions to the gaming compacts that will allow the Connecticut Lottery and the two federally recognized tribes to move forward with sports and online betting.
The state was waiting on federal approval to start the new gambling opportunities.
Late last month, the General Assembly’s Regulation Review Committee approved the regulations for sports wagering and online gaming as proposed by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. The department will now continue the licensing process and the review necessary to certify the gaming platforms.
The governor and the tribes say wagering could begin as soon as October.
It’s unclear how much money the state may have lost because of the delay. The start of the NFL football season Thursday generally coincides with an increase in betting.
The revisions to the compact between the tribes and the state allow for an 18 percent tax rate for the first five years on new online commercial casino gaming, followed by a 20 percent tax rate for at least the next five years and a 13.75 percent tax rate on sports wagering.
“This critical step in the process of modernizing our gaming landscape here in Connecticut ensures that our state will have a competitive, nation-leading marketplace for wagering both in-person and online,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “I thank the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approving these revisions, as well as the efforts of our partners with the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.”
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said this is the start of “an exciting new chapter.”
“This expansion will allow us to enhance investments in support of our tribe, to contribute additional revenue to the State of Connecticut, and to provide a new level of entertainment for our guests,” Butler said.
Mohegan Tribal Chairman James Gessner said they are grateful.
“Modernizing our gaming industry will help protect and create Connecticut jobs, and it will generate tax revenues to the benefit of both state and local municipal budgets, as well as our tribe’s members,” Gessner said. “This is not just a regional issue – it will have a statewide impact as Connecticut works to meet critical needs as it recovers from the pandemic. Today is a milestone achievement for Connecticut and its tribal nations.”
Sen. Cathy Osten described the federal approval as the” final piece of the puzzle.”
When it comes to sports betting Foxwoods, which is run by the Mashantucket Pequots have partnered with DraftKings and Mohegan Sun, which is run by the Mohegan Tribal Nation have partnered with FanDuel.
The Connecticut Lottery partnered with Rush Street Interactive to operate its online sports betting operation.