Sports Betting, Examining The Potential Money Flow To City And State

In two weeks, the Connecticut General Assembly will commence a new session seeking fresh revenue sources such as commercial marijuana, electronic tolls, expanded casino gaming and a potential mega money machine–depending on how it’s structured–sports betting, something the U.S. Supreme Court opened up to all states.

Bridgeport is home to a parimutuel facility hoping to cash in on the action. But it goes well beyond that.

Think about it, you’re flopped on your couch at home, or work, or therapist’s office; you pull out your phone and presto … a mobile platform is available to bet on just about anything sports related. Gaming insiders assert that’s the mother lode of revenue generated by the masses. What gaming entity is sufficiently mobile friendly to generate a reservoir of new dough?

Connecticut is among the states navigating the process, albeit tardy compared to others who dipped their toes in the water.

The Hartford Courant examines neighboring Rhode Island as a possible template for Connecticut. (The spokesperson quoted is not a known relative.)

Paul Grimaldi, public information officer for the Rhode Island department of revenue, said the state is hesitant to move too quickly on sports betting, preferring to sort through legal and practical questions before expanding to mobile platforms or venues outside of the two Twin River properties. In the future, he said, lottery retailers such as liquor stores or convenience stores could offer some form of sports betting, but that sort of expansion would likely require additional legislation or a public referendum.

Many stakeholders across the country, including in Connecticut, have suggested that sports betting needs a mobile component in order to generate substantial revenue. Mobile allows bettors to gamble from their own couches, placing wagers through apps on their phones.

Rhode Island officials have also been deliberate in projecting revenue for their new sports-betting operation. Grimaldi said the state will consider over the coming months and years not only how much money betting brings in but also where that money comes from. As of now, no one knows whether sports gambling will generate new revenue (such as from Connecticut residents crossing the state border) or simply sap it from other taxable forms of leisure.

“If you were going to spend that money on some taxable item that’s not gambling, and now you spent it on gambling, do we simply move that money from the right-hand pocket to the left-hand pocket?” Grimaldi said. “Those are things we want to make sure that we can figure out and report back to the legislature and the governor here.”

Full story here.



  1. Sports Betting?
    Not with with a Nickname like “ the Land of Steady Habits”!

    By Walter W. Woodward for Connecticut Explored
    Why has “The Land of Steady Habits” endured as a moniker for Connecticut for more than two centuries? One reason is that its meaning has proven to be remarkably elastic, capable of changing with the times, the issues, and the attitudes of its users. When it first appeared widely in print in the early 1800s, the term “The Land of Steady Habits” was associated with Connecticut’s ancient tradition of assuring political stability through repeatedly electing the same officials to high office. As these perpetual office holders were to a man members of the Federalist political party that then dominated all New England politics, the phrase was also associated with both Federalism and New England as a region.
    For Connecticut’s Standing Order, though, “The Land of Steady Habits” struck just the right note, implying wise governance, order, stability, virtue, Congregational piety, and considered resistance to radical and untested innovation. For their political opponents—who would turn the Standing Order out of office and write the state’s new constitution in 1818—“The Land of Steady Habits” proved equally useful as an ironic shorthand for aristocratic rule, cronyism, inequitable taxation, entrenched corruption, and backward thinking. Thus the state’s Federalist governor could accuse his opponents in 1801 of trying to “break in on the steady habits and good regulations of the people” (American Citizen, February 24, 1801) while the Republicans in turn could accuse a Federalist judge of robbing the state treasury for two years “under cover of ‘a steady habit’” (Courant, Hartford, Connecticut, July 15, 1801). Such charges were typical of the “Steady Habits” press coverage well into the 1820s. They also underscore a feature of the phrase “The Land of Steady Habits” that is instrumental to its longevity: It works equally well when used to highlight positive or negative traits.
    Catchphrase’s Flexible Meaning Assures Its Longevity
    Always implicit in “Steady Habits” has been an evaluation of Connecticans’ character. When noting in 1827 that Connecticut “truly was a land of steady habits,” the Boston Commercial Gazette went on to describe the state’s people as, like their puritan forebears, “intelligent, industrious, and religious, . . . (and) of sober manners and conduct.” But the New York Telescope noted in the same year that a third of the deaths in New Haven County were the result of drinking alcohol, which suggested intemperance—not sobriety—was one of the state’s steadiest habits.
    Surprisingly, Connecticut’s divorce rates have long contributed to the state’s reputation for steady habits—but not in a good way. In 1849, the Albany Evening Journal noted, “The land of steady habits has acquired a very bad name from its relentless habit of severing the marriage tie for the most frivolous reasons.” Nineteen years later, the New York Observer and, under the headline “Divorce in the Land of Steady Habits,” noted that the divorce rate in Connecticut was double that of Vermont, four times that of Massachusetts, and even worse than that of France during the anything-goes days of the French Revolution. With time, though, Connecticut reversed this trend. In 1946, the press (Hartford Courant, September 29, 1946, “No Reno Here”) reported that the “land of steady habits had adopted a conservative attitude to divorce.” The state’s divorce rate was now only a quarter of the national average. Forty years after that, though, the tables had turned again. In 1986, The New York Times, reporting that married couples in Connecticut were expected to become a minority by the year 2000, reasoned, “To have steady habits in the land of steady habits is no piece of wedding cake.”
    Throughout the centuries, “The Land of Steady Habits” has been used to stand for—or has been used as a foil against—a remarkable list of subjects: Whig principles (for); blue laws (against); locofocoism (radical Jacksonian Democrats against monopoly and for laissez-faire economics; against); beer drinking (for); sushi (for); economic growth (against); drinking at National Guard encampments (against the $50,000 weekly cost); constitutional change (for and against); showing movies on Sundays (against); hair bobbing by women (against); gangland murders (against); manhood (for); proven innovation (for); frugal government (for); corruption in government (against); suspicion of government (for); and fireworks (for), Socialist mayors in Bridgeport (for and against); population diversity (for); opposition to the draft (for); support for the war effort (for); voting reapportionment (against); climbing Mount Everest (for); health, education, and income (for, for, and for). And the list continues to grow. Within the past few months alone, the press has invoked “The Land of Steady Habits” in reference to liberalized marijuana laws, education reform, and both men’s and women’s basketball at the University of Connecticut. All these uses go to show what may be (in the final analysis) the most important thing about a good nickname, and a good state: its ability to adjust to a multitude of changing circumstances. After all these years, then, the steadiest feature of “The Land of Steady Habits” is its capacity for change.

    1. Heyy.. Jim.. Happy Holidays. Great article that you posted. But I wonder. did this “Land(State) of Steady Habits” respond to slowly to the changing economic/industrial/financial/fiscal challenges that escalated after WW II. We had a State Legislature that met once every two years. Too many people accepted the status quo and refused to change. Financing The Government of The State of Connecticut became a shell game. The “Land of Steady Habits” was also a state that was cheap in governance and led to losing lives;The Mianus River Bridge Catastrophe.” Jim Fox,you usually make me smile and laugh but this time you made me serious..

      1. Happy New Year Frank, I look at New York State and think how many Casinos they have (25) and that totally pisses me off.
        Safe to say 20,000 jobs while Connecticut sit’s on it’s hands, waiting for Fairfield’s Tony Wrong and the queen of the senate, Sprague’s Democrat Senator Cathy Osten to stick it to Bridgeport’ who asserts Connecticut should maintain its strong relationship with the tribes and who has vowed to filibuster the measure into defeat if necessary.
        Things should be getting very serious Frank.

  2. The new governor and the state legislature can no longer put off making big decisions about the sport of gambling in CT. Has to be addressed in this first session of the State Legislature.

  3. Sports betting and legalizing marijuana for recreational use are the two best potential revenue streams to generate capital funds. If Uncle Ned is smart he will put to bed that bullshit about highway tolls. No one wants them. Placing bets and smoking weed are other matters.

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