Sports activities betting in Connecticut: “Someone has to surrender”

An important word was thrown around at Tuesday’s briefing on the future of Connecticut Games and sports betting: compromise.

Everyone involved – the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indians, Connecticut OTB operator Sports and the Connecticut lottery – I agree that there must be compromises in legalizing and running CT sports betting.

That is at least one positive result Public Security Committee Hearing takes place Tuesday.

Compromise requires compromise

The problem is, none of them want to be the side to give in. Legislators get a little tired of this, including MP Kurt Vail::

“I know this: I’ve been on this committee for seven years. We talked about it over and over and in the end we got nothing because everyone takes their ball, goes into the corner and refuses to give an inch.

“And here we have something again, 2021? In 2015 we talked about it and we have nothing. So someone has to give up something and I think there is a way for everyone to win. “

Bringing in other operators without the consent of the tribes would be viewed as a “breach of trust”. Mashantucket Pequot Chairperson Rodney Butler said, but positive momentum continues.

“We are pleased to say that we are currently in regular discussions with the governor’s office and we continue to hope that we can reach an agreement that reflects the spirit of SB 146,” added Butler.

Proposed Sports Betting Legislation in Connecticut

Butler mentioned SB 146This would allow the tribes to operate sports betting both in their casinos and online. The Connecticut Lottery could also expand to online sales of lottery tickets and keno.

In the first five years of this business activity, gross income could be achieved by $ 690 million of sports betting and $ 850 million According to forecasts, Mashantucket Pequot cited the gaming consultancy for iGaming Eilers & Krejcik.

It is undetermined what the tax rate would be on these, but the Mashantucket Pequot accepted 8th% for sports betting and 10% for iGaming. That would be the same $ 55.2 million in taxes of sports betting and $ 85 million for iGaming during this period.

SB 146 has 17 sponsors from both chambers, but it is not the only CT sports betting legislation. Senator Dennis Bradley filed SB 570who also legalized sports betting, iGaming and iLottery along with Tribal Casino in Bridgeport.

Regardless of the legislation, all parties seem to agree that Connecticut must operate sports betting. Residents can already travel east for legal sports betting Rhode Island. Legal mobile sports betting could soon reach the other border states as well. new York and Massachusetts.

Tribes claim the exclusivity of sports betting in Connecticut

As is common when Connecticut has advanced games, the operators are Foxwoods and Mohegan Casinos say they have exclusive sports betting rights. The claim is based on their interpretation of their compacts and language which defines sports betting as a federal casino game.

While the tribes believe they have exclusive rights, it sounds like they are ready to play ball with the rest of the state.

“We are ready to talk, be reasonable, and negotiate. Partners do as they move forward and look at new things,” said the Mohegan tribe chief of staff Chuck Bunnel. “But let’s not do any harm by bringing someone to Connecticut who is not currently here and is not part of this agreement that has been so beneficial to all of us.”

Butler repeated the feeling.

“We’re at the one-yard line and all we have to do here is hit it,” said Butler. “And there are solutions for that. People just have to be sensible and reset expectations. … They don’t just want to stay on their trail. “

Tribes could partner with Sportech

The “you” in Butler’s statement concerns Sportech, which has the monopoly on parimutuel betting and operates 16 OTBs in the state.

Butler explained a plan for a handful of sports betting retail locations across the state that would cost roughly $ 3 million to $ 5 million everyone. One way to avoid these costs could be to take advantage of some of these Sportech locations.

“Sportech has a few venues that we might consider considering if the state sees an expansion in retail sports betting,” Butler said. “… There are ways to thread the needle here, but all under the guise of our exclusivity.”

Retail bets are not enough for Sportech

Retail sports betting at the OTBs just isn’t enough, he said Ted Taylor, Sportech’s President for Venue Business.

“We both have to survive and have this great opportunity to play,” said Taylor. “Just having the bones of brick and mortar – it’s like there are no blockbusters. There isn’t a single blockbuster in Connecticut as that’s how Netflix works right now.

“We need both and it just makes sense that this is the way forward.”

In a post-pandemic world, he expects retailers to be responsible only for him 20% to 25% of the Connecticut sports betting market.

The odd double win of the lottery in sports betting

Perhaps the most surprising comment came from the Connecticut Lottery chairman Rob Simmelkjaer.

“To bring sports betting out of the shadows, Connecticut needs a strong retail presence to make life easier for players. … Many bettors don’t want to set up online accounts or bet with credit or debit cards. They will prefer to bet with cash and they will prefer to bet in places where they can watch games with their friends at local businesses in their cities. “

Then the say followed immediately 80% The revenue comes from online and denounced personal registration.

“The personal activation requirement hampers player interest and participation,” said Simmelkjaer.

Unfortunately, none of the lawmakers asked why bettors wouldn’t travel to a retail location to set up a mobile account but would have no problem visiting that location regularly to place bets.

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