DoI approves Connecticut’s amended gaming compacts

The US Department of the Interior (DoI) has approved the revised gaming compacts between the state of Connecticut and the state’s tribal groups for sports betting and online gaming.

The announcement comes after a joint legislative committee approved emergency regulations for sports betting in Connecticut at the end of August.

Compacts receive approval

Last week, it was announced that the DoI gave its approval to the proposed revision to the gaming compacts between the state of Connecticut and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Tribe.

Connecticut’s governor Ned Lamont agreed on the amended compacts with the two tribes back in March in an effort to bring legal online sports betting and online casino gambling to the state.

Then in May, Lamont signed a bill into law that would legalise online sports betting, fantasy sports contests, and other forms of online gambling.

Now that the compacts have received approval from the DoI, the state is one step closer to launching its legal sports betting and online casino gambling markets.

According to the announcement, sports wagering and online gaming in Connecticut are expected to launch in October.

Lamont said: “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. 

“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. Today’s announcement puts Connecticut on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that will be competitive with our neighboring states and positions us for success into the future.”

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation chairman Rodney Butler said: “Today’s approval from the federal Department of the Interior is historic and begins an exciting new chapter for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. 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.”

Mohegan Tribal Council chairman James Gessner added: “The Mohegan Tribe is thankful to Department of the Interior – Indian Affairs and the Office of Indian Gaming for today’s action, and also to Governor Lamont and Connecticut’s Congressional delegation for their continued efforts and partnership.

“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. 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.”

What will sports betting in Connecticut look like?

Under the legislation that was signed into law back in May, the revised gaming compacts were formalised and outlined the provision for sports betting and online gambling in the state.

With the revised compacts, the two tribes will be able to offer sports betting online and at their land-based casinos. The tribes will also be able to offer online casino gaming and fantasy sports contests.

Each tribe will be able to operate one skin for online sports betting and another skin for online casino gambling.

The Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) will also be able to operate one skin for sports betting outside of tribal lands as well as land-based betting at 15 retail locations in the state.

Last month, the state lottery announced it would partner with Rush Street Interactive for sports betting.

DraftKings partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot Indians in late 2020, while FanDuel teamed up with the Mohegan Indians in July.