Connecticut Makes a Step towards Legalizing Online Casinos

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  • New bill pending state legislature passage would allow $100m to be spent on entertainment in Bridgeport
  • Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes would be authorized to operate online and land-based sports betting
  • Commercial casino operators may stand against the bill’s passing into law

Although the newly proposed bill is yet to be filled in its entirety, Connecticut news source WFSB published a draft of the document this Wednesday, the 31st of July. It may take until early 2020 for it to be filed officially, but should it be approved by state legislature the bill would legalize broad online gambling operations in the Nutmeg State, which is known for trifling with the idea of legalized online casinos for a couple of years now.

Summarized, the draft of the bill pertains to a bipartisan compromise on expanding gambling operations within the state’s borders, which are currently ran by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes who operate the Mohegan Sun and Foxwood casinos, respectively.

According to the provided information, the MoheganandMashantucket Pequot tribesare to spend at least a $100 million on an entertainment and gambling facility in the historic seaport city of Bridgeport. Furthermore, they would be allowed to jointly operate a casino in Connecticut’s capital city, Hartford, as well as in two other municipalities of their own choice.

The rates proposed in the bill stand at 10% tax for poker – online and at casinos – another 10% tax on sports bets and 8% for retail sports bets.

Embracing the Times

Alongside with the perspective for new betting venues, the proposed bill does not fail to notice the promise of online betting. In case of the bill’s passing into law, Connecticut will become one of the states, which embrace online poker, other online casino games and retail sports betting.

If the tribes fulfill their part, they would receive, in turn, the authorization to service wagers on sports events in their casino estates, their respective websites and/or mobile applications from all over the state.

As for now, the regular lawmaker’s session in Connecticut already ended in June, so a new, special, session would have to be called to debate the notion later this year.

What could go wrong?

Earlier in July, MGM Resorts International – experienced online gambling operators and owners of the MGM estate in Springfield, Massachusetts, located 5 miles north of the Connecticut border – filed an amendment to the Federal Defense Bill, which prevents tribal nations, who operate casino enterprises on tribal land, to do so on off-reservation properties in the same state.

In light of that fact, as well as taking in consideration that MGM have previously stood against tribal projects on non-tribal land, the bill in question may face some opposition. Others, such as Sportech, managers of the off-track betting facilities in CT, have also raised this issue before.

In any case, the CT Mirror reflected the state’s House Majority Leader, Matt Ritter’s opinion over the matter. He states that the expansion of gambling in Connecticut has been picking up momentum for a long while now and everyone is eager to put an end to the stalemate.

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