Connecticut Authorizes Sports Betting and iGaming at Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods

By | March 3, 2021

Connecticut is set to become the sixth state to legalize online gambling with interactive slot machines and table games. It’s also joining the legal, regulated sports betting space.

Connecticut sports betting online casino gambling
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont delivers his State of the State address in February of 2020. The first-term governor this week struck a deal with Mohegan Sun to allow the casino to operate sports betting and internet gambling. (Image: Associated Press)

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) announced today that the Mohegan Tribe’s Class III gaming compact has been amended to include revenue-sharing details for online gambling and retail and mobile sports betting.

Gross gaming revenue online generated by the tribe will be subject to a 20 percent tax, while 13.75 percent of sports betting wins will be directed to the state. The amendment is good for 10 years and includes an optional five-year extension.

“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming,” Lamont said in a statement.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut,” the governor added.

Mohegan Sun is one of two tribal casinos in Connecticut. Under the tribe’s longstanding gaming compact, 25 percent of the slot revenue generated at Mohegan Sun is given to the state. The casino shares none of its table game wins.

Foxwoods Close to Gaming Expansion Deal

Foxwoods, the other casino in Connecticut, is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. While the Mashantucket and Mohegan Class III gaming compacts have been identical for decades, the state is working separately with each tribe for the gaming expansion.

Mashantucket Chair Rodney Butler says the tribe is “literally on the one-inch line” of signing a revised gaming compact. Foxwoods is also being afforded privileges to conduct internet gaming and sports betting.

I’m certain we’ll get there, and we’ll get there soon,” Butler said.

Both tribes have seen their slot win steeply decline over the past 15 years. As a result, the state’s share of slot money has dropped more than 60 percent since 2006. The ongoing losses stem from the neighboring competition.

It’s been many years since New Englanders needed to travel to remote Connecticut to find a casino. Today, land-based casinos are in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

Legalizing iGaming will give Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun an edge on those competitors, as those states do not allow gambling online. And only Rhode Island has mobile sports betting operational.

Gaming Monopoly Ending

The tribes have long maintained a monopoly on gambling in Connecticut, the lone exception being the state-run lottery. This week’s deal with the Mohegan Tribe ends that run, as the Connecticut Lottery is being afforded up to 15 retail sports betting locations.

The Lottery will additionally be allowed to operate one online sportsbook.

Foxwoods has already partnered with DraftKings in anticipation of iGaming and sports betting. Mohegan Sun is expected to associate with a third-party operator experienced in interactive gaming.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun currently operate social online casinos where real money is not wagered.

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