Lamont Strikes Tentative Deal With Mohegan Tribe On Sports Betting, Online Wagering

Sportech, operator of the off-track-betting facility in Bridgeport, cut out of state deal.

Governor Ned Lamont and Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner Jr. on Tuesday announced a deal granting the tribal nation rights to sports wagering and online gaming with 20 percent of the revenue going to the state and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation taking new retail sports betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport.

The announced deal does not include, at the moment, the Mashantucket Pequot Nation.

On the surface this deal looks like Sportech, operator of the state’s parimutuel facilities, including one in Bridgeport, will be cut out of the online sports wagering platform that could lead to legal repercussions under the federal equal protection clause.

The tribal nations maintain they control exclusive rights to all gaming dating back to a compact approved under Governor Lowell Weicker roughly 30 years ago, something disputed by Sportech officials.

About a year ago Lamont implied he wanted an agreement that included Sportech, but this deal is clearly a reversal showcasing the financial leverage the tribes have over the state.

So this deal, assuming final state approval, could end up in court.

In a news release Lamont cites agreement highlights:

— A 20 percent tax rate on new online gaming, or “iGaming,” offerings

— A 13.75 percent tax rate on sports wagering

— Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to operate 15 retail sports betting locations, as well as operate an online sports betting skin

— Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to sub-license some of those locations to the state-licensed pari-mutuel operator

— Connecticut Lottery will undertake new retail sports betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport

— License agreement to be for ten years with a five-year extension option

“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming,” Governor Lamont said. We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut.”

“The Mohegan Tribe is proud to have reached this agreement with Governor Lamont and the State of Connecticut,” Chairman Gessner said. “This path will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, and help keep Connecticut with those states when it comes to growing our economy and benefiting the state budget. We’re thankful to Governor Lamont and his team, and we look forward to continued work with the General Assembly as this process continues.”

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7 comments

  1. Governor speaks with Forked Tongue!
    HOW?

    March 3, 2020
    CT Mirror
    “The governor is proposing that sports betting be allowed at the two tribal casinos and that rights to sports bookmaking outside the casinos be opened to the tribes, the Connecticut Lottery and Sportech, the licensed vendor for off-track betting. The tribes rejected the offer in a private meeting Monday at the governor’s office.”

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  2. Translation: “Tentative” means incomplete and still under negotiation. It’s a two-party deal that requires a three-party agreement. And then then there’s the courts.
    We have a story before we have any news.

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  3. Bridgeport needs to move on, the Goose that laid Golden Egg will not be laying anything in the Park City, it’ has been been a nightmare waiting for some type of gambling to come to Bridgeport to sve the city.

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  4. By Mike Moffatt
    Updated January 27, 2020
    Monopolies were among the first business entities the U.S. government attempted to regulate in the public interest. Consolidation of smaller companies into bigger ones enabled some very large corporations to escape market discipline by “fixing” prices or undercutting competitors. Reformers argued that these practices ultimately saddled consumers with higher prices or restricted choices. The Sherman Antitrust Act, passed in 1890, declared that no person or business could monopolize trade or could combine or conspire with someone else to restrict trade. In the early 1900s, the government used the act to break up John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company and several other large firms that it said had abused their economic power.

    In 1914, Congress passed two more laws designed to bolster the Sherman Antitrust Act: the Clayton Antitrust Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Clayton Antitrust Act defined more clearly what constituted illegal restraint of trade. The act outlawed price discrimination that gave certain buyers an advantage over others; forbade agreements in which manufacturers sell only to dealers who agree not to sell a rival manufacturer’s products; and prohibited some types of mergers and other acts that could decrease competition. The Federal Trade Commission Act established a government commission aimed at preventing unfair and anti-competitive business practices.

    Critics believed that even these new anti-monopoly tools were not fully effective. In 1912, the United States Steel Corporation, which controlled more than half of all the steel production in the United States, was accused of being a monopoly. Legal action against the corporation dragged on until 1920 when, in a landmark decision, the Supreme Court ruled that U.S. Steel was not a monopoly because it did not engage in “unreasonable” restraint of trade. The court drew a careful distinction between bigness and monopoly and suggested that corporate bigness is not necessarily bad.​​

    Expert’s Note: Generally speaking, the federal government in the United States has a number of options at its disposal in order to regulate monopolies. (Remember, regulation of monopolies is economically justified since monopoly is a form of market failure that creates inefficiency- i.e. deadweight loss- for society.) In some cases, monopolies are regulated by breaking up the companies and, by doing so, restoring competition. In other cases, monopolies are identified as “natural monopolies”- i.e. companies where one big firm can produce at lower cost than a number of smaller firms- in which case they are subjected to price restrictions rather than being broken up. Legislation of either type is far more difficult than it sounds for a number of reasons, including the fact that whether a market is considered a monopoly depends crucially on how broadly or narrowly a market is defined.​

    This article is adapted from the book “Outline of the U.S. Economy” by Conte and Karr and has been adapted with permission from the U.S. Department of State.

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  5. While the compact with the Tribes revenue seems to be a sticking point of contentious that money can be made up relatively easy. You have new income coming from the legalization of weed, instead of notion of banning favor e-cigs, increase the tax on them, and place electronic toll for trucks.

    Not to mention the “Port” has more leverage in this game than one might think, If MGM was to builds a competitive resort casino on Pleasure Beach it will generate a good portion of the losses tribal revenue alone, and it will cut off and siphon New York, New Jersey. Long Island (ferries) as well as low Connecticut. JS

    How hard? who knows, possible though. It’s not like it wasn’t a tourist destination before. Thank about it. 🙂

    Bam I am out of here, again. 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgBIaIRRXKM

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