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Regional News

Sports Betting Set For Connecticut Debut

Sports betting window at Mohegan Sun Casino September 22, 2021 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Sports betting window at Mohegan Sun Casino September 22, 2021 in Uncasville, Connecticut.

Connecticut residents can bet on sporting events beginning Thursday, but they will have to do it in person and at one of two places: Foxwoods Resort Casino or Mohegan Sun.

“Today we celebrate a new era for our Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, sports fans, Foxwoods guests and Connecticut residents,” said Rodney Butler, chairman of the tribal nation, which runs Foxwoods. “With [the] NFL season in full force, it’s game on, and we look forward to a successful launch.”

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun will usher in a new era of gaming as part of an on-reservation retail launch Thursday at 9:30 a.m. with events at each casino. Online gaming will have to wait.

Lawmakers approved sports betting, along with online gaming, in May. But it’s taken a few months for operators to actually take bets because of the need for regulation and federal approval. And state residents will wait even longer for iGaming and mobile sports betting.

A spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Protection told Connecticut Public a week ago that it wouldn’t issue licenses to facilitate a sports betting launch until a tribal-state gaming compact amended to include sports betting and online gaming was published by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs into the federal register. State officials say that delay has pushed back a wider sports betting launch.

“The BIA’s delay in issuing the approval of the amendments to the [Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s] procedures has meant that DCP was delayed in issuing licenses. Therefore, certain critical steps to prepare for even a soft launch, such as registering patron accounts, cannot be done,” said Max Reiss, Gov. Ned Lamont’s communications director. “The approval from the BIA this past Monday for the Mashantucket Pequot tribe meant that on-reservation retail sports betting can begin on Sept. 30 with the full soft launch to follow.”

The full approval for the Mashantucket Pequot compact came earlier this week, 17 days after the Mohegan one was published.

There’s no official date for a wider expanded gaming launch, though Reiss said Wednesday that the state is on a “very aggressive” timeline.

Copyright 2021 Connecticut Public Radio

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