The federal government has signed off on plans for sports betting and online gaming in Connecticut, the governor confirmed in a tweet Thursday afternoon.
Gov. Ned Lamont said the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs informed him they have given final approval to the revisions to the gaming compacts between the state, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe.
The state had already approved sports betting and online gaming through the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, the Mohegan Tribe and the Connecticut Lottery.
The General Assembly has signed off on regulations as proposed by the Department of Consumer Protection and the state and its partners have already reached deals with vendors like Draft Kings and Fan Duel. The federal sign-off was a key step to make the offerings available, which now allows DCP to continue with licensing and to review the certification process.
"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," the governor tweeted.
The governor said that it is anticipated sports wagering and online gaming will be available in October.
“This is actually real, it’s going to happen and we’re moving forward,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said.
Butler was thrilled to get the call from the U.S. Department of Interior Indian Affairs yesterday saying they can move forward with online gaming and sports betting in Connecticut.
“We’ve been down this path before with Interior, trying to seek compact amendments for the third casino in the state, which had its challenges and so we took nothing for granted,” he said.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe is building a permanent retail sports book at Foxwoods Resort Casino that will open in October.
But, Butler said they are ready to go before that with a temporary retail facility. They’ve also been working with DraftKings for a year now.
The last piece of the puzzle is getting the license from the state Department Of Consumer Protection.
“We think we can be live in the next two weeks and my new target is the third week of the NFL season if everything lines up. But it really relies on the licensing process at this point and how fast we can get through that,” Butler said.
People who are interested in sports betting and online gambling will be able to download the DraftKings Foxwoods app in a couple weeks and play the same games you would as if you were in the casino.
Butler said the rewards customers earn will bring them back to the casino to enjoy shows, dining and hotel offers.
The Mohegan Tribal Nation chose FanDuel to operate its sports betting and the Connecticut Lottery awarded Sportstech a contract to operate 10 of the 15 retail locations in the state.