Connecticut on the Verge of Full Legal Sports Betting Legalization

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A general view of the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut. Drew Hallowell/Getty Images/AFP

The state of Connecticut will be the next to go forward with an online legal sports betting platform. Sports betting legalization by the Connecticut state legislature actually happened last May but retail wagering just went into effect on September 30 with Foxwoods Resort and the Mohegan Sun partnering with the two big DFS providers-turned sports betting behemoths.

Just three licensed mobile sportsbooks have been named by the state. The two DFS providers that already have a retail presence in the state and PlaySugarHouse, in partnership with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation will embark on a 7-day “soft launch” which commences today, with an eye on October 19 for a full launch of their online products.

Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) Commissioner, Michelle H Seagull, commented: “We appreciate the hard work of our licensees and their teams, as well as the team at DCP, for their diligence in ensuring these platforms are compliant with the regulations approved by the legislature.

“As long as no issues arise, we have told the licensees they may move forward with the seven-day soft launch required in the regulations. Once the soft launch is complete, online gaming will open statewide.”

Details of the “Soft Launch”

The three sportsbooks in line for today’s “soft launch” will have a few rules to follow. Connecticut Lottery Corporation’s Rush Street SugarHouse Casino app users will be limited to online sports wagering within the state only, will be limited to 750 patrons on the online platform, and will have hours limited from 3 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, then a 24-hour cycle until the soft launch period is over.

The two DFS providers will expect online sports wagering within the state only, online casino gaming shall be limited to games approved by the Department of Consumer Protection (over 100 games) and there will be no live dealer or peer-to-peer online casino games. Their online casinos will be limited to 750 users on each app and hours of the soft launch will be 3 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday, noon to 11:59 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, then a 24-hour cycle until the soft launch period is over.

What Connecticut Can Bet On

A full menu of betting options will be available to citizens of Connecticut once the platform goes live with one huge exception. Betting on individual games for in-state college programs will be prohibited – tournaments such as March Madness will be the exception to that rule.

That takes the beloved UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams out of consideration for the state’s bettors. Void a professional sports team, is considered a pretty big omission for the state’s betting scene.

The Impact

The state of Connecticut is not the biggest of sports betting markets, but it should be robust. 3.565 million residents (29th in the nation) will get a long-awaited chance to place a mobile bet starting today, albeit a limited one until next week.

Sports betting will have an immediate impact on the state – the state’s tribes will benefit from a partnership with the two of the biggest betting providers in the nation. Tax revenue, jobs, and a chance to stay with neighbors in New Jersey and eventually New York are other benefits to the sports betting platform going live.

“The Mohegan Tribe is thankful to Governor Lamont and the Department of Consumer Protection for their cooperative efforts to reach this point, as together we finally make online gaming and sport wagering a reality in Connecticut,” said James Gessner, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe regarding the soft launch.

“Doing so will allow us to not only offer these new products to state residents, it will in turn help protect Connecticut jobs and generate additional tax revenues to the benefit of state and local municipal budgets, as well as our tribe’s members. We’re excited to take this step, and we look forward to a full launch in the days ahead.”

So Far…

The Connecticut retail sports betting scene has been on the lukewarm side. But the addition of a mobile option will likely kick the action into another gear, just like New Jersey that counts on 90% of their monthly handles coming from mobile apps.

Customers can sign up for Connecticut mobile sports betting apps remotely, from the comfort of their own homes… and they are expected to do just that. Eyes will be on the Connecticut scene to see just how they fare compared to other middle-of-the-road competing jurisdictions… starting today.