Connecticut Bill For Duopoly Sports Betting Gets Green Light

A new bill that would authorise the state’s two tribes to run Connecticit sports betting has been endorsed by seventeen Connecticut lawmakers.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians will be authorized by SB 146 to sell online sports betting and retail betting on tribal property.

Online casinos will also be permitted to be provided by the tribes, while online services could be offered by the state lottery. Just two pages long and light on specifics is the original filing.

Is Duopoly in Connecticut Better Than Nothing?

In Connecticut, where it looks like the tribes are going to get their way, it’s an interesting trend. Earlier in January, Gov. Ned Lamont in his State of the State speech threw his weight behind sports betting.

“Sports betting, internet gaming and legalized marijuana are happening all around us,” he said. “Let’s not surrender these opportunities to out-of-state markets or even worse, underground markets.”

The tribes have made it clear that without them in charge, they won’t let Connecticut online sports betting take place.

In return for 25 percent of slot sales, they have exclusive gaming rights in Connecticut and say that exclusive rights include sports betting as well.

Who is benefiting from the proposed bill for sports betting?

The major winners tend to be DraftKings and Kambi, apart from the tribes themselves. For the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owner of Foxwoods Resort Casino, DraftKings has a contract to run betting. Kambi has a contract with Mohegan.

The interesting subplot here is that DraftKings will possibly use its current SBTech platform on its former Kambi platform to compete against Mohegan.

As for the scale of the opportunity, with about 3.6 million individuals, Connecticut is a small state. It is really well off, however. The province, behind Massachusetts and New York, has the third-highest GDP per capita in the US.

The tribes and politicians were very optimistic before Christmas about getting sports betting done in 2021. SB 146 seems like the first step in making that happen.