Connecticut could soon look for its sports gambling market
By Bob Garcia
A change in heart over a casino could lead to the state moving forward with sports gambling
The COVID-19 debacle has forced the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes in Connecticut to reconsider a massive new casino that was planned for East Windsor. The state is already suffering financial losses because of the global pandemic and would welcome anything that would help it recover. The loss of the casino means a loss in employment and long-term revenue for the state, but there could be a solution. Since 2018, Connecticut has had the ability to offer sports gambling, but hasn’t moved forward with establishing the framework. The decision to halt the casino project might be the motivation the state needs.
Part of the reason there hasn’t been progress is because of the tribes stance on sports gambling. They believe that they should have exclusivity because, in their opinion, sports gambling is a “casino game,” even if decades of legal sports gambling around the world prove otherwise. However, they assert that the existing gaming compacts give them the right to control the sports gambling market in the state and are likely to fight any effort to allow outside operators.
All around Connecticut, states are beginning to launch sports gambling and collect desperately-needed revenue. While the money coming in might not be enough to offset the losses, anything is better than nothing at this point. As the tribes have decided not to move forward with their new venue, Connecticut needs to find a way to counter the COVID-19 impact, and the current situation could serve as the catalyst everyone needs to stop procrastinating and start working.