Connecticut Tribal Gaming Compacts Published, Sports Betting at Cusp

By | September 28, 2021

The two Connecticut tribal gaming compacts that were revised earlier this year and submitted to the federal government for review have gained approval.

Connecticut sports betting iGaming
The Bobby V’s sports bar in Stamford is seen. The restaurant and watering hole will soon offer patrons sportsbook kiosks operated by Rush Street Interactive, as Connecticut sports betting debuts. (Image: Stamford Advocate)

Federal officials have signed off on the new Class III gaming compacts for the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. The updated revenue sharing arrangements allow the tribes to operate retail and online sports betting, as well as interactive slot machines and table games over the internet.

The compacts have been published in the Federal Register, the final step in the tribes’ quest to offer the new gaming formats.

With the compacts approved and published in DC, Connecticut and its tribal groups are cleared to commence iGaming and sports betting. State law requires that the Mashantucket and Mohegan Indians give the state a 10-day warning for when such operations might go live. Both have given Hartford the 10-day heads up.

What is the Federal Register?

The Federal Register is the US government’s official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents. All Class III gaming matters, which involves federally recognized tribes conducting gaming on their sovereign lands, must be reviewed and approved by the US government by way of the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.

October Debut

The general consensus among observers covering the expansion of gaming in Connecticut is that online sportsbooks will open next Thursday, October 7.

The Mohegan Tribe has partnered with FanDuel to operate a sportsbook at its namesake casino resort. The Mashantuckets have partnered with DraftKings for its retail Foxwoods sportsbook and online sports betting operations.

In addition to the tribal sportsbooks, the Connecticut Lottery gained authorization through the expanded gaming legislation to add sports betting to its portfolio. The lottery corporation contracted Rush Street Interactive to operate its mobile and in-person sports betting services.

The lottery received the same sports betting rights as the two tribes, but did not receive authorization to operate online casino gambling. Internet slots and tables are reserved for the tribes. FanDuel and DraftKings will handle those online casino operations.

Retail Locations Confirmed

The Connecticut Lottery Corp. and Rush Street can operate an online sportsbook and place sports betting kiosks in up to 15 retail locations. Ten of those brick-and-mortar venues have already been decided.

Last month, the Connecticut Lottery announced a deal with Sportech, the state’s off-track betting operator. Sports betting kiosks will be placed inside at least 10 establishments owned and operated by Sportech.

Sportech restaurants, sports bars, and OTB franchises includes Winners, Bobby V’s, and Sports Haven.

Winners locations in Manchester, Hartford, New Britain, Torrington, Waterbury, Milford, and Norwalk will each feature Rush Street sports betting kiosks. Bobby V’s in Windsor Locks and Stamford, and the Sports Haven in New Haven, are also receiving the standalone sportsbooks.

The lottery is barred from placing its Rush Street betting kiosks at any location that is within 25 miles of the Mashantucket or Mohegan reservations.

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