The XL Center soon won’t be the only arena in Connecticut to feature a sportsbook and restaurant. The Connecticut Lottery Corporation announced Wednesday that they will operate a sportsbook at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport.
“Total Mortgage Arena provides us with a unique space that is already known as an entertainment hub for sports, music performances, and events,” Lottery President and CEO Greg Smith said in a statement.
The announcement comes just two days after the Lottery opened a sportsbook at the XL Center in Hartford.
The Lottery said the 2,500-foot sportsbook will be on the ground floor of the Total Mortgage Arena. No date for completion has been set, but the Lottery expects the venue to be open “in the coming months.”
This will be the 11th sportsbook opened by the lottery. The legislature authorized the Lottery to open up to 15 locations, including a requirement that two be in Hartford and Bridgeport.
“The sportsbook will be a great addition that will expand entertainment and dining options for the greater Bridgeport area and tourists alike,” Rep. Christopher Rosario, D-Bridgeport said.
Aside from the two event venues, many of the Lottery’s sportsbook have been opened at parimutual locations operated by Sportech.
Smith said after a ribbon cutting ceremony at the XL Center location Monday that he believes the lottery will announce the remaining locations by next summer.
Total Mortgage Arena is home to the Bridgeport Islanders, the minor league affiliate of the NHL’s New York Rangers.
It was also a regional site for the NCAA’s 2022 women’s college basketball and 2023 men’s ice hockey tournaments, and hosts combat sports and concerts.
“Bridgeport is increasingly home to a lot of entertainment in recent years and the opening of this sportsbook diversifies and provides opportunities to build off of moving forward,” Rep. Antonio Felipe, D-Bridgeport said.
The retail locations have been a bigger driver of sports betting revenue so far for the Lottery, even without the two new locations.
Through the end of August, the CT Lottery reported $17.9 million in gross gaming revenue from retail locations since sports betting was legalized in October 2021 and another $14.6 million from online sports wagering.
That’s produced $4.5 million in revenue for the state, according to data from the Department of Consumer Protection.
All Lottery sportsbooks continue to carry branding of the lottery’s current partner, Rush Street Interactive and its SugarHouse platform.
Rush Street announced in the spring that it wanted to end its 10-year agreement with the lottery after just 18 months, but has continued to operate SugarHouse while the lottery searches for a new vendor.
Smith said after the event at the XL Center that the lottery has identified a new vendor, and negotiations continue with both that company and Rush Street. Part of an agreement will include a plan to transition bettors from SugarHouse to a new platform.
Smith hopes all sides can come to an agreement before the end of the year.
The Lottery’s online sports betting revenue lags far behind the two tribal casinos, but the DCP’s data does not include on-site figures for Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun.
Mohegan Sun and its partner, FanDuel, have seen $96 million in gross revenue from online sports gambling, paying $13.2 million for the state.
Foxwoods and DraftKings, meanwhile, have generated $81.8 million from their online sportsbook, sending nearly $11.3 million of that to the state.