Governor Dannel P. Malloy is currently having negotiations with the Indian tribes of Connecticut about sharing sports betting and revenue agreement. The talks are happening at a time when a special legislative session which would make sports betting legal in the state is awaited.
Governor Malloy welcomed the US Supreme Court ruling to open up the country’s gambling market for sports betting and commented that the state needs to be more specific about its position on the expansion. He further explained that he was not interested in challenging the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot Indian tribes and their exclusive right to provide their venues’ customers with certain forms of gambling.
Malloy, however, revealed that he was willing to restrict the expected special session to state-wide sports betting operations and revenue sharing agreement with the owners of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casino resorts. He said that a compact would guarantee that the revenue received from the state by the tribes is not endangered in any way.
On the other hand, the local Attorney General George Jepsen has explained that the addition of sports betting to the already existing forms of gambling in the state would not breach in any way the compact between Connecticut and the Indian tribes. According to Mr. Jepsen, the agreement would also not allow the tribes to stop making their due payments of slot machines revenue.
New Compacts with Indian Tribes Being Negotiated
As revealed by the Governor of the state of Connecticut, Malloy had been negotiating with the local Indian tribes about possible changes brought to their agreements with the state. The amendments could see sports betting added to the local gambling sector.
Connecticut’s Governor revealed that he had already reached out to the two tribal nations and had shared an opinion that it would be best for everyone to reach an agreement and have some talks with other parties interested in sports betting expansion.
The latest compact between the local Indian tribes and the state of Connecticut, which included a revenue-sharing clause, has been reached when Keno was legalized by local legislators. Under the agreement, the tribes were allowed to offer Keno across the state and at the two tribal casinos situated in the eastern part of the state.
In addition, under their compacts with the state of Connecticut, the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot tribes have the special privilege to offer slot machine gambling at their gambling venues. In return to this, the Indian nations pay a 25% tax on their slot machine revenue generated at the Mohegan Sun and the Foxwoods casinos. The amount this tax brings to the state is estimated at approximately $250 million on an annual basis.
Recently, the discussions about a third casino in Bridgeport have raised some concerns that the Indian tribes’ compacts would be violated. MGM Grand, the company which has revealed its intentions to build a $700-million waterfront casino resort has denied such a possibility and explained that the facility could compensate for the revenue from the Indian tribes’ casinos which could be lost by the state.