Max Reiss, director of communications for Governor Ned Lamont, announced on Tuesday that the governor backs sports betting on tribal reservations as well as permitting the tribes, the Connecticut Lottery and the state’s existing off-track betting operators to conduct sports betting outside the tribes’ reservations. Bridgeport has an OTB location operated by Sportech.
The state legislature is weighing two bills.
“For years now, Connecticut’s gaming economy has been declining and stuck in litigation while our surrounding states continue to expand and prosper. Last legislative session, the governor worked to achieve a comprehensive solution to Connecticut’s ongoing gaming quagmire. Unfortunately, neither tribe accepted that proposal.
“This legislative session, there are two proposals on the table. One of the proposals would authorize only the tribes to conduct sports betting and virtually all other forms of online gaming both on and off their tribal reservations. The other proposal would authorize the tribes to conduct sports betting on their tribal reservations and also would permit the tribes, the Connecticut Lottery, and the state’s existing off-track betting operators to conduct sports betting outside the tribes’ reservations. The governor supports the latter approach because it is simpler, focuses exclusively on sports betting, and is therefore more achievable in this short legislative session. It also builds upon the state’s existing partnership with the tribes, is more likely to withstand legal challenges from third party competitors, and promotes a fair and competitive sports betting market outside the tribes’ reservations.
“The governor is committed to a fair resolution that brings Connecticut’s gaming economy into the 21st century. He wants to sign a sports betting bill into law over the next few months. Any such proposal, however, must be designed to avoid and withstand endless legal challenges, include multiple, competing mobile platforms off the tribes’ reservations, and build upon the existing footprints of all of the state’s existing gaming operators.”
Unfortunately, Lamont has to react to existing tribal relationships that conflict with the new realities of sports betting in America. His law needlessly complexifies the situation and puts Connecticut at a disadvantage. His please-the-three-parties approach ruins our chance to form a money-making powerhouse.
Idea: insurance-backed sports betting could be our salvation. Connecticut could grab 99% of the market. Casinos are about wealth and winning. Local sports betting is about staying in the game by avoiding risk thus making continued $$ for CT..