Connecticut lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of House Bill 6451 to bring online casinos and sports betting apps to the state. The Connecticut online gambling bill includes the ability to launch online gaming platforms and looks to become effective on July 1, 2021, subject to a few additional hurdles the bill is likely to overcome.
According to the bill, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe can each launch one online casino. Each tribe can also launch an online sportsbook and retail sportsbook.
The Connecticut Lottery can launch one online sportsbook and up to 15 retail sportsbooks.
Once the state gives online gaming operators the green light, Connecticut bettors should have access to two online casinos and three online sportsbooks.
Expected Connecticut Online Casinos
It’s not certain exactly what online casinos or sports betting apps will come to Connecticut. But we can make some educated guesses. Here are the most likely platforms to launch in the state:
DraftKings has an existing partnership with Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. This means DraftKings will almost definitely be one of the three online sportsbook apps. But despite DraftKings Casino existing in a handful of states, Foxwoods could launch a separate online casino app.
Unibet is the online betting partner of Mohegan Sun Poconos of Pennsylvania, which means the Mohegan Tribe already has a partnership with Unibet elsewhere. That makes Unibet, an online casino and sportsbook, a likely choice.
However, Kambi Group signed a deal with Mohegan Sun of Connecticut to bring online sports betting to the state. While Kambi Group is a spin-off company of Unibet, the two brands split completely in 2014. It’s not unlikely that Mohegan Sun Online Casino & Sportsbook will launch in the state (rather than launching a platform that exists in other states).
Further, Kambi Group has a partnership with Penn National Gaming, which owns Barstool Sportsbook & Casino. That could mean Barstool is one of the three online betting options in the state.
Then we have all the operators that consistently launch in states that legalize online betting. These include BetMGM, FanDuel, and BetRivers, which operate in all states with legal online casino gaming (New Jersey, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia).
What Happens Next For The Connecticut Online Gambling Bill?
Now that the bill has passed the Connecticut House, the companion bill must be taken up by the State Senate. Once the Senate signs the gambling legislation, it must be signed off by Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont. But, that’s not the last step in the process. Connecticut online gambling got this far as a result of a gaming compact entered into between the state and the two tribes in Connecticut. This gaming compact needs to be approved by the US Department of Interior.
Regardless, all of these additional steps seem likely to occur quickly. The Connecticut Lottery is already accepting licensing applications for gambling apps and hopes to have betting available before the NFL kickoff this fall.