Connecticut Governor finalises sports betting agreement with both state tribes

Connecticut’s governor has finalised an agreement for sports betting and online gaming with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe which operates Foxwoods Resort Casino.

This news comes after Governor Ned Lamont inked a similar agreement with the Mohegan Tribe, Connecticut’s other tribe that holds exclusive gambling rights, earlier this month.

The Mashantucket Pequot tribe initially felt left out following the news of the deal between the state and the Mohegan tribe. Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot said that the tribe still had some points to negotiate.

However, during a press conference on Monday, Lamont indicated that the issues had been resolved. 

Lamont’s office has now issued a formal statement confirming the deal has been agreed upon with both tribes.

According to the Governor’s announcement, Butler said: “We’re proud of this landmark agreement with the State of Connecticut that cements a historic moment for our Tribal Nation. This agreement bolsters the state’s economic development and growth, and allows us to develop a stable economic foundation for the future of our tribal community. 

“We thank Governor Lamont, members of the southeastern delegation, the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, and the many members of the General Assembly who have supported us continually throughout this journey”

New Connecticut sports betting and online gambling details

The new deal will cover sports betting in Connecticut along with online gambling pending legislative approval.

The terms of the deal that relate to sports betting have remained largely unchanged from the deal that was struck with the Mohegan tribe.

Under the deal, sports betting revenue will be taxed at a rate of 13.75% and both tribes and the Connecticut Lottery will receive online sports betting skins. 

When it comes to sports betting, the Mashantucket Pequot tribe is partnered with DraftKings while the Mohegan tribe is partnered with Kambi.

In addition to online sports betting, the state lottery can offer betting at 15 retail locations and these locations can be sublicensed to Sportech. The lottery will also build new retail betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport.

The agreement will run 10 years and may be extended for an additional five years.

Turning to online gambling, the agreement between the state and the tribes will see the online gambling tax rate change to 18% for the first five years. After five years, the tax rate will increase to 20%. This was one of the issues that the Mashantucket Pequot tribe had with the initial deal.

The deal will also allow for the expansion of lottery and keno games online. Both tribes have also agreed to halt development of a proposed casino venue in the East Windsor area for the length of the deal with the state.

Speaking on the deal, Lamont said: “Connecticut is on cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience for our residents, which will be competitive with our neighboring states. 

“Our state’s tribal partners have worked with my administration thoughtfully, deliberately, and in a constructive fashion for the past few months, and we have achieved an agreement that is best for Connecticut residents and their respective tribal members.”

Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman James Gessner Jr. said: “The Mohegan Tribe is very thankful to our partners in government, both the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the State of Connecticut, for reaching collective agreement on a path forward for modernizing our state’s gaming entertainment industry.

“This will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, to the benefit of both state and local municipal budgets, as well as our tribe’s members.”

What happens now?

Although the state has reached an agreement with its two tribes, there is still more work that needs to be done before sports betting and online gambling can launch in the state.

Firstly, the updates and changes to the state compacts will need to receive approval from the federal government. Then the state legislature will need to pass a bill that formally legalises the proposed changes.

The announcement from Lamont’s office did not include a timeline for when sports betting and online gambling will launch in the state.