Lawmakers in the state Senate passed a bill just before midnight to legalize online gaming and sports betting in Connecticut and Governor Ned Lamont said he plans to sign the bill in the coming days.
The bill allows the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, who run the casinos, to have in-person and online betting for sports games and fantasy sports.
The bill also allows the Connecticut Lottery Corp. to have in-person and online sports betting, online keno and online lottery games. The Lottery can also have in-person sports betting at up to 15 licensed facilities including one in Hartford and one in Bridgeport.
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In exchange for all of this, the tribes and the Lottery have to make monthly payments to the state's General Fund ranging from 13.75% to 20% of gross revenues.
The Lottery will have to pay $1 million yearly and each tribe will pay $500,000 yearly toward certain problem gambling programs.
Senator Tony Hway said the addiction rate for online sports gambling is much higher than in-person gambling at casinos.
State Senator Cathy Osten, who led final passage of the bill, said they built provisions into the bill to make the apps used to place bets on a phone less addictive. She also said there will be no betting on state college sports.
Governor Ned Lamont said he plans to sign the bill in the coming days. After that, Lamont said he and the tribes will seek approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Dept. of Interior to amend the state's compact with the tribes. That federal agency needs to approve the changes to the compact before the sports betting and online gaming can begin in Connecticut.
One of the hang-ups here is the bill would delay the plan to demolish the Showcase Cinemas in East Windsor and turn it into a casino by 10 years.