Connecticut Governor Signs Sports Betting Bill
Connecticut sports betting Bill has been signed into law, with hopes that sports betting will finally be live before the start of the football season.
Connecticut governor Ned Lamont has signed into law legislation that will see online gaming and sports wagering become legal in the state. The governor formally signed the legislation on Thursday. The legislation (HB 6451) received a strong level of support in both chambers of the state General Assembly. The legislation is the result of an agreement the Lamont administration reached with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe earlier this year. The deal allows both tribes and the Connecticut Lottery to offer sports betting and online gaming.
After he signed the bill into law, Lamont said that Connecticut is now close to providing a “modern, technologically advanced gaming experience,” which will help them keep pace with neighboring states. Additionally, Lamont said that the legislation results from “months of hard work and dedication” to create an agreement that is best for “residents of Connecticut and the respective tribal members.”
Lamont was keen to thank legislators on both sides of the fence. He said he appreciates the partnership of the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and thanked them for working together so “we could make this happen for the residents of our state.”
The final step that remains before betting goes into full effect is approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to amend the state’s compact with both tribes. The federal agency must then approve the compact changes before online sports wagering, and online gaming can begin.
Connecticut Bill A Joint Effort
Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman James Gessner Jr. was quick to thank Lamont and their partners in the General Assembly “for their cooperative efforts to legalize online gaming and sports wagering.” Gessner said that the approval of this bill means it will keep the state “competitive with surrounding states when it comes to gaming entertainment.” He described the creation and the passing of new legislation as a “major accomplishment.”
Gessner said everybody in Connecticut would benefit from these changes. Additionally, he stressed that it has come at the perfect time, as governments and authorities are “working to recover from the pandemic and provide vital services.”
HB 6451 was approved on Tuesday by the state Senate in a 28-6 vote with two lawmakers abstaining. In May, the bill was approved by a 122-21 bipartisan vote. All gaming compacts between a state and its tribes must go before the U.S. Department of Interior for review.
Sports Betting Growing in New England
Connecticut will be the third New England state to launch sports betting, following New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts have also looked into sports betting.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said it is a “historic moment” for the state of Connecticut. He said that gaming is more than a business for the tribe, as it is a way they “pay for our children’s education and provide healthcare to our members.”
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