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DOI approves amendments to Connecticut tribal gaming compacts


Legal sports betting in Connecticut is almost a done deal, with the state receiving federal approval to alter its existing gambling regulations.

On Thursday, the US Department of the Interior okayed the amended gaming compacts for the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, pushing the Nutmeg State a step closer to launching regulated wagering.

The revised gaming compacts were presented to the DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) for review by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont on July 27, as it is required for all tribal-state gambling pacts. The BIA had 45 days to evaluate the compacts and decide whether to reject or approve them.

In his statement about the decision, Gov. Lamont thanked the BIA for signing off on the revised compacts, saying that the action had pushed the state closer to providing its residents with a modern and state-of-the-art gaming experience.

“I thank the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approving these revisions, as well the efforts of our partners with the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe,” said Lamont.

“Today’s announcement puts Connecticut on the cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that will be competitive with our neighboring states and positions us for success into the future.”

Following the nod from the federal government, the state can now push ahead with plans to launch regulated sportsbooks. The only thing remaining now is approval of operator licenses by the Department of Consumer Protection.

The Connecticut sports betting industry is on schedule to go live in October.

CT gaming tribes welcome DOI ruling

In addition to the remarks made by Gov. Lamont’s office, the two American Indian tribes operating gaming establishments in Connecticut also celebrated the decision through official statements.

In his comments, the Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, James Gessner, said that modernizing the state’s gambling industry would not only help in protecting and creating jobs for Nutmeggers, but it would also generate additional revenue for the state, municipal governments, and the tribes.

He went on to say that the additional funds generated by the industry would help the state meet its critical needs as it works towards recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Rod Butler, on the other hand, said that the expansion would allow the tribe to boost its investments in support of its members, raise more revenue for the state, and also deliver a new level of entertainment for its customers.

“This expansion will allow us to enhance investments in support of our tribe, to contribute additional revenue to the state of Connecticut, and to provide a new level of entertainment for our guests,” said Butler.

A look at legal CT sports betting

Connecticut legislators this year pushed through House Bill 6451, which was signed by Gov. Lamont in April.

Under the bill, the two gaming tribes operating casinos in the state can run retail and online sportsbooks as well as online gaming in partnership with platform providers of their choice. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe has teamed up with Flutter’s FanDuel for its offering, while the Mohegan Tribe selected Boston-based DraftKings.

Apart from the two tribes, the Act also allows the Connecticut Lottery to offer bookmaking services at 15 retail locations and via mobile. The Lottery’s sportsbook will be powered by BetRivers.

The three operators are also be allowed to offer DFS contests. However, the Lottery is not allowed to run an online casino platform.

The state’s Department of Consumer Protection will oversee the industry when it launches.

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