Connecticut has been one of the states where sports betting has been struggling. Not because of firm local opposition, but rather because of the tiffs of lawmakers and the overall indecision to come up with a conclusive decision.
And so, it was up to Governor Dannel Malloy who stepped up recently and said that representatives of the state’s legislature would have to make their minds and tell him concisely if they expect to push for sports betting in 2018. Mr. Malloy is right to seek clear answers. But what good could that do?
Aye for Sports Betting, Nay for Time
Even if the legislative heavyweights decide that sports betting is a good idea, a special session may not see the light of day during the summer break, which means that any attempt to legitimize sports betting on the territory of Connecticut will be stuck in a legal limbo of one’s own making.
Still, Mr. Malloy has been quite clear in his demands. For instance, he has been tracking the offshore gambling industry and he is entirely aware of the gambling revenue that the state concedes to third parties, because gamers do not have options to bet safely at home. Mr. Malloy wants to change that before the summer is out. However, this would require unprecedented coordination by lawmakers who are in the mood to take a break.
Assuming an agreement can be thrashed out, though, it will still have to be signed by the DOI, which may additionally bog down the future of the bill.
Malloy in Good Spirits
Despite of the uncertainty around sports betting and the evident importance Mr. Malloy attaches to it, he has still shown a fairly brave face. Last Thursday, he met with a number of lawmakers, arguing that ‘real progress’ had been made in the weeks prior to the meeting.
He outlined the progress and said that people had really put their heads together to make sure that sports betting can truly take off in Connecticut. However, lawmakers gave him a tepid welcome, not quite sure what progress had been made.
Senators were among the staunchest opponents of Mr. Malloy’s plan. Not only that, but they refused to reply directly to any of the questions directed their way. Both Senate President Martin looney and Senate Republican leader Len Fasano avoided giving a direct reply to whether they backed Mr. Malloy.
Instead, they said that their endorsement of a future sports betting bill depends on the support it manages to draw.
Connecticut and the Locals
The local tribal operators have been cautioning against sports betting, arguing that the segment must be listed as a casino game. Of course, one could easily see why they would push for such changes, as the tribal operators are exclusively in control of all casino segments in Connecticut.
While Mr. Malloy is willing to concede this point, he is also eager to introduce independent betting facilities reminiscent of those in Europe and also get the lottery a kickstart, which will revitalize the segment deeply.