Three online sports betting and gaming options began operating in Connecticut Tuesday, but only on a limited basis.
The seven-day soft launch gave each online platform a 750 player limit and constricted gambling hours too.
Despite the soft launch, invested parties and people looking for a payout celebrated,
“It’s a huge day. It’s history. For the first time ever, someone can legally place a mobile sports bet in the state of Connecticut,” said Richard Schwartz, CEO of Rush Street Interactive.
The sports betting and gaming company launched their site PlaySugarHouse.com online sportsbook in the state Tuesday, operating in partnership with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.
“Lottery is a bit of a monopoly, casino is a bit of a monopoly and the sports wagering is going to get this nice head to head with a couple of big-name and well-performing operators, and ours being one of them,” said Connecticut Lottery Corporation President Greg Smith.
The Mohegan Tribe has teamed up with Fan Duel and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe with DraftKings.
NBC Connecticut has learned the latter sent out invites for their 750 person limit. The other entities were first come first serve. People put on the waitlist for PlaySugarHouse will get a cash incentive and be notified as soon as the full launch is authorized, according to Connecticut Lottery.
But not everyone is all in for this launch.
“I gambled away my pension, I gambled away my life savings, I gambled away all my investments and then I buried the family in credit card debt,” said a member of Connecticut and Western Massachusetts Gamblers Anonymous.
Gambler’s Anonymous Hotline:
While he never wagered online, he says the online option probably would have meant a swifter downfall for him, since he wouldn’t have had to leave his house to gamble.
He’s concerned about Tuesday's rollout and can see this destroying a lot of people’s lives.
He wants people to know there’s help out there, like the Gambler’s Anonymous Hotline: 855-222-5542.
“Gamblers like me, once we get into a casino or poker room or whatever kind of gambling it is, online, they won’t be able to stop.”
The state has created an opt-out program for problem gamblers to self-exclude themselves from any of these new apps and their marketing. You can self-exclude by visiting the website ct.gov/selfexclusion.
Meantime invested parties and people looking for a payout say watching sports in Connecticut will never be the same.
“I think they call it ‘skin in the game,’” said Smith.