With the U.S. Supreme Court expected to issue a decision soon on legalized sports betting, Mayor Joe Ganim on Monday released a statement calling on the General Assembly to pass like-minded legislation in anticipation of federal approval.
Bridgeport Mayor and Democratic candidate for Governor Joe Ganim today called for the Connecticut General Assembly to pass Senate Bill No. 540, AN ACT AUTHORIZING SPORTS WAGERING AND ONLINE LOTTERY DRAW GAMES IN THE STATE. The bill sets up legal, highly regulated, taxable sports betting in Connecticut. If enacted, it is estimated that legalizing sports betting could bring the state another $44 million in annual revenue. Gaming industry estimates in Connecticut currently show that state residents spend more than $600 million in illegal sports betting, generating some $36 Million in profits for illegal sports bookmakers. Introducing legal sports wagering that could be taxed by the state at a rate of 15% could significantly eat into that black market. Mayor Ganim is calling on the General Assembly to open up another stream of revenue at little or no cost to taxpayers.
“Connecticut residents are already spending hundreds of millions of dollars every year in the illegal black market to bet on sporting events, so why not set up a legal wagering system that we can tax and that is safer for consumers?” said Mayor Ganim. “This fits very well into a comprehensive gaming strategy for Connecticut and could potentially earn the state another $45 million in revenue every year. No one can argue that we need the money, and this will also help spur some additional job creation as well–at no cost to taxpayers. I urge the legislature–before the current session adjourns–open up legal sports betting as another revenue stream for Connecticut as is done currently in nearly 40 countries around the globe.”
Many states considering legalizing sports betting are awaiting a decision by the United States Supreme Court in the case of Murphy v. NCAA in which a federal law banning legalized sports betting except in the states of Nevada, Montana, Delaware, and Oregon is being challenged as unconstitutional by the state of New Jersey. Legalized sports betting is now supported by all major professional sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL, NFL, and Major League Baseball, as well as fantasy sports leagues such as Draft Kings and FanDuel. If authorized nationally, it is estimated that sports betting could generate as much as $150 Billion in profits taxable by states every year.