Will Connecticut Launch Sports Betting by the Start of the NFL Season?

Connecticut to legalize sports betting
Connecticut is making big and quick steps towards making sports betting legal in the state.

Connecticut’s governor, Ned Lamont, and the lawmakers are working hard to introduce sports betting to the state. But will they manage to do so before the NFL 2021 season starts?

Based on the facts we’ve got, the state’s legislature and two tribal operators target this fall and the beginning of the NFL season as the perfect moment to introduce sports enthusiasts to betting opportunities.

At the time of the US Supreme Court ruling in 2018, everyone believed Connecticut would be one of the first states to make sports betting a reality. Despite having support, sports wagering didn’t become a regulated gambling market.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said:

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“The goal is to be placing bets on sports by this NFL season. And then, from the back end, from a technology perspective, we’re both ready to launch.”

What’s the Potential Launch Date?

Rob Simmelkjaer, Chairman of the CT Lottery, released a statement saying:

“There is a hope to launch sports betting in Connecticut by the start of NFL season. That’s been articulated by the governor and the leaders of the tribal nations that will be our partners/competitors in the state. It’s an aggressive timeline – not sure that it will happen. But we’ve created a timeline that at least leaves that possibility open.”

Given that the upcoming NFL season is set to start this September, Connecticut regulators have roughly four months to get everything done.

The first step is for the Lottery to choose a partner. The lawmakers will need to go through stacks of paperwork, and in the end, the state should establish clear rules and regulations.

The state has four months to accomplish everything
Regulating and creating a functioning sports betting market in four months will be no small feat.

Who Will Regulate and Oversee Sports Betting in CT?

The lottery chairman said that, ideally, retail sportsbooks would be a 30-minute drive away from anyone. We have yet to see whether it will become a reality.

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Here’s a list of all the organizations that will operate sports betting in CT:

  • The state lottery will claim 15 sportsbook locations.
  • A pari-mutuel horse betting operator, Sportech, will sublicense these 15 locations.
  • Bridgeport and Hartford will receive two new retail sportsbooks.
  • The Mohegan Tribe will partner with Kambi.
  • The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe will collaborate with DraftKings.
  • Finally, the state lottery will soon choose a partner.

The Lottery issued a Request for Qualification (RFQ) and has since received responses. Now it’s time to choose the best operator to collaborate with.

15 Providers Show Interest in CT Lottery Sports Betting License

According to the latest reports, the Lottery received 15 responses from high-quality operators willing to claim the last remaining license to operate the Connecticut sports betting market.

Simmelkjaer said of this event:

“We are pleased to see significant interest from companies who would like to partner with the CLC to bring our online and retail sports betting offering to market. Our staff and board will now begin a process of carefully reviewing the qualifications of the submitting parties as we work towards choosing the right partner in this important initiative for our state.”

The Connecticut Lottery Corporation has sent out invitations for presentation to the candidates. Finalists will then be contacted and asked to submit formal business reports.

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