Connecticut Scrambles to Launch Legal Sports Betting

Connecticut of one of a handful of states that has already legalized betting on sports. However, legalizing sports betting is just one part of the process. Successfully navigating the process of regulating sports betting can be far more involved.

The legislative process for legalizing sports betting in Connecticut was finalized on May 27. On that day, Governor Ned Lamont signed the proper bill into law. Since that point, the state’s legal sports betting industry has been targeting Sept. 9 has an official launch date. This coincides with the start of the new NFL regular season.

The clock continues to tick as that date draws near. As late as Aug. 31, a key meeting took place among state regulators to hammer out the final details. Most of these details center on the logistics of actually going live.

The good news is that all the necessary rules and regulations for legal sports betting were approved. The Legislative Review Committee voted 9-4 to approve the rules presented by the state’s Department of Consumer Protection.

However, there is one main sticking point in this approval. The rules and regulations are considered to be emergency in their nature to expedite the process. They will still need to be finalized at some point in time. That was the primary reason for the four votes against approval.

There are three primary operators in the state as approved legal books. As a tribal gaming state, DraftKings has partnered with Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. FanDuel is aligned with Mohegan Sun and that tribe’s gaming venue in the state.

The third operator is Rush Street Interactive based in Chicago. This gaming company was chosen as the operating partner of the Connecticut Lottery.

A big part of the legalization effort involved negotiations between Gov. Lamont and the gaming tribes on an amended compact. Once an agreement was reached, these compacts needed final approval on the federal level by the Department of the Interior (DOI).

The DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs is facing a Sept. 9 deadline to approve these new compacts. Any lingering issues in that process would push back a potential launch to later this year.

The operators are in place, the DOI should approve the new compacts and the ‘emergency rules’ have been approved. Yet, the ability of anyone in Connecticut to legally bet on Week 1 of the NFL season is dicey at bet.

This state has worked harder than most to get legal sports betting off the ground. The system in place is comprehensive with both retail and online sports betting. The companies involved are among the best in the gaming industry.

Everything is in place for a highly successful launch of legal sports betting in Connecticut. The magical question that has still yet to be answered is when it will all go live?

Right now, it looks highly doubtful that the original Sept. 9 date will come to fruition. But you never know if a late-game score pulls out the win for the home team. Either way, look for legal sports betting to be up and running in Connecticut in the not-too-distant future.

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