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Following the ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that should bring legal sports betting and online gambling to all the states in the country, Connecticut is mulling options to offer online betting and gambling licenses. Governor Malloy said the court’s decision was not unexpected but came about a month earlier than anticipated. Now top lawmakers are hurrying up to compile legislation. The Governor has already initiated discussions with the two tribes that operate casinos in Southeastern Connecticut.
Top legislative leaders that just ended their regular session two weeks ago, met face to face with the Governor on this issue this afternoon. Afterward the Governor saying, “Bottom line is; to move forward we need to reach agreement with the two tribal nations.”
There is a consensus at the Capitol that because of Connecticut’s quarter century old agreements called ‘compacts’ with the tribal operators of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, that moving forward with sports betting and online betting here is much more complicated than in other states.
The two tribes have essentially a monopoly on legal gambling in exchange for 25 per cent of slot revenue. This year that’s estimated at $270 million.
The legislature would have to approve this new form of legal gambling or at least tell the Governor what would pass in a Special Session this summer or fall so that he can negotiate with the tribes. Legislative Leaders agree that the Governor has sole authority to negotiate with the tribes.
The Democratic Senate President Pro tem, Sen. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) saying, “We are going to have our own discussions within the bipartisan leadership about the focus we would like to see to offer him some legislative guidance on points that we think he should emphasize.”
The ‘off track betting’ industry, like ‘Sports Haven’ in New Haven and 16 other OTB facilities across the state say they are in the best position to handle this new legal form of gambling and have actually been lobbying lawmakers for a year on this issue. The Republican Senate President Pro tem, Sen. Len Fasano (R-North Haven) saying, “The Governor’s deal has to be reflected in our legislation because whether it’s exclusive or not exclusive impacts how we write the bill.”
The tribes say they already have exclusive rights to this new legal gambling, the Attorney General says they don’t but could make a good legal argument for it in court.
And that’s why it’s more complicated here than in other states. There are no estimates on how much revenue could be raised…or when a Special Session might take place. It is an election year with many primaries so that complicates things even more.
Source: European Gaming Industry News