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More on Connecticut’s Two Senate Betting Bills

Connecticut Betting Mohegan Sun

Connecticut currently has two proposed bills sitting in the Senate concerning the legalization of domestic sports betting options.

Connecticut’s most robust Senate Bill, SB 17, would authorize sports wagering, online gambling, and online keno. The bill was introduced to the CT General Assembly on January 11th, 2019 and is currently in Committee as of April 8th, 2019 assigned file number 507.

The bill has 18 sponsors which include Senators Steve Cassano, Holly Cheeseman, Christine Conley, Joe de la Cruz, Doug Dubitsky, Paul Formica, Mike France, Susan Johnson, Cathy Osten, Emmett Riley, Kevin Ryan, Heather Somers, Larry Butler, Henry Genga, Rick Hayes, Anthony Nolan, Kate Rotella, and Travis Simms.

SB 17 if enacted by the Senate and House, would be effective July 1st, 2019. SB 17 would allow online and mobile casino gambling for blackjack, poker, dice, roulette, baccarat, money-wheels, chuck-a-luck, pan games, acey-duecy, beat the dealer, bouncing ball, and any other game of chance. Sports wagering options under this bill would allow professional and collegiate wagering but prohibit wagering on sports or events sponsored by minor leagues or high schools.

If CT’s SB 17 were to be approved by both Statehouses and the Governor, the Governor would need to amend the Mashantucket Pequot procedures, the Mashantucket Pequot memorandum, the Mohegan compact, and the Mohegan memorandum to allow the operation of sports wagering, online keno, and online casino gaming in their tribal-run casinos.

The allowance to conduct online casino gaming and sports wagering at tribal-run facilities does not remove the obligation for each tribe to contribute a percentage of their gross operating revenues to the state. CT players located within the state’s boundaries who are at least 21 years of age can freely enjoy wagering in-person, online, or on mobile. Protections would be implemented within CT online wagering options to verify the player’s age and eligibility.

Connecticut’s other Senate Bill in questions, SB 665 is less detailed but has 11 Democratic sponsors behind it. The current text of the bill shows it more as a one-liner which aims to “amended [general statutes] to authorize wagering on the results of certain sporting events” by establishing a competitive Connecticut sports wagering environment. Introduced on January 25th, 2019 the bill has been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security and was later reserved for a public hearing on February 26th, the bill’s last action was a vote to draft on February 28th.

However, seeing the progress of SB 17 shows more favorability to allow tribes to offer domestic wagering and online gambling perks over creating a competitive free market for all betting providers. This is likely because of the strong political influence of native tribes in the state of Connecticut, which provide the bulk of the state’s domestic gambling entertainment.

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