Connecticut Governor Signs Tribal Gaming Expansion Bill

Ned Lemont, Connecticut Governor, has signed the tribal gaming expansion bill which was recently passed by the members of the General Assembly.

The legislation includes amendment of Class III gaming aspects for the two tribes of the state and to allow online casino gambling and sports wagering in the state.

House Bill 6452 offers the Mohegan tribes and Mashantucket Pequot to provide sportsbook services. Both tribes should have a retail and online business and should be interactive with the slot machines and table games.

Governor Ned Lamont tweeted the next day, “Big bets are often rewarded with the big payouts. However, I think history will show us that yesterday’s signing of the sports betting and iGaming bill is less of a gamble and more of a sure bet. ”

The tribes are required to share 13.75% of their Gross Gaming Revenue from the sport betting market with the state. Considering the online casinos, 18% tax will be mounted off the subsequent Gross Gaming Revenue for the first five years after the launch, and the tax will increase 20% for the next five years.

Lamont commented, “I was proud to sign this landmark piece of legislation into law today. Modernizing our gaming marketplace has been a long coming, and I’m thankful for the partnership we forged that helped make this happen.”

Apart from promoting new gaming rights for the tribes, House Bill 6451 allows the Connecticut Lottery to operate as many as 15 bricks and mortar betting retail locations, and additionally provide the opportunity to operate mobile sportsbook platforms.

Daily fantasy sports companies also have an opportunity to apply for a license in the new bill proposal.

Federal Green Light

House Bill 6451 allows Lemont and the federally recognized tribe to work on enhancing the class III gaming compacts in order to include sports betting and online casinos.

As per the current revenue-sharing deal, the state requires 25% of the Gross Gaming Revenue generated from slot machines and table games. The federally recognized company owns and operates Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.

Lemont explained to the state residents who were concerned about the gambling problems, “Once the Compact is edited and signed by Lemont and the tribes, the documents will be sent to the United States Department of the Interiors. The federal agency has 45 days as per the receipt of the compacts to either reject or authorize the new regulations. ”

Lemont further said, “We’re taking problem gambling seriously, and that’s a piece of this bill as well.” House Bill 451 demands each tribe to contribute $500,000 annually to help the program designed to help gamblers suffering from addiction and loss.

Market Perks

Casinos, be it land-based or online have advanced quite well in the United States market. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have operated in full gaming capacity with slot machines and table games since the 1990s.

The 25% share offered by operators to the state has gone down from $433.6 million in 2016 to $245.4 million in the year 2019. Covid-19 restriction and sufferings have further caused hurt, as the casinos voluntarily closed in March and kept closed until June. The state’s share was $164.2 million from slots last year.

iGaming in the states which was legal when the pandemic hit has helped to recover losses faced by the land casinos during the shutdown. Now, the Connecticut tribal operators will be much better prepared during such a crisis in the future.

Online gambling has also given tribes a stronghold in the Massachusetts market since the majority of the casinos like Encore Boston Harbor, MGM Springfield, and Plainridge Park cannot yet operate sports betting neither iGaming.