Connecticut Senate gave its final approval to the piece of legislation seeking the biggest gambling expansion in the state’s history. The move put an end to years of heated discussions regarding a comprehensive package that would legalize online gambling and sports betting in Connecticut.
According to reports, local lawmakers are aiming for September 9th as the official start date of sports betting after the legalization of the new form of gambling was officially permitted by the 2018 ruling of the US Supreme Court. Now, the bill will have to be signed by Governor Ned Lamont and get the approval of the US Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs.
After a debate that lasted for more than an hour, the Senate voted 28 to 6 on a bipartisan basis. The proposed bill was opposed by three Republicans and three Democrats in the final vote at the state Capitol. On the other hand, the supporters of the bill said that the agreement will be helpful to the Foxwoods Resort Casino and the Mohegan Sun.
The approved piece of legislation is expected to transform the gambling landscape of Connecticut, as local residents will be able to access online casino games for the first time ever, while the Connecticut Lottery Corp. and the Indian Tribes are competing against one another to attract more customers.
Regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports Remain Unclear under New Gambling Expansion Bill
Apart from allowing various casino games to be offered online, a total of 15 retail sports betting locations are set to be created under the agreement across the state. On the other hand, betting on in-state college sports would not be allowed, except in cases when a customer bets on the entire sports tournament.
As mentioned above, the debate regarding the legalization of sports betting had been going on for years with no agreement on the matter being reached until this year.
For now, one of the most important questions that remain unanswered is the one regarding daily fantasy sports, an industry that still remains largely unregulated in the US. Under the newly approved piece of legislation in Connecticut, daily fantasy companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel would be required to stop operating as of July 1st, 2021. According to estimates, there are about 60 million customers of daily fantasy sports in the country, with about 600,000 in Connecticut.
If the state Department of Consumer Protection is not ready with the fantasy games regulations, the DFS companies could be forced to cease operations in the state at the beginning of July. Under the provisions of the new piece of legislation, companies holding a master sports betting license may not be allowed to offer online casino games, daily fantasy contests or online sports betting until the regulations included in Section 16 of the act are brought into effect.
Reportedly, the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association shared that the bill could lead to the shutdown of Connecticut’s providers of paid fantasy sports for a significant period of time, which could continue throughout the entire NFS season. The national trade group also called for the General Assembly to bring the necessary changes to the legislation in order to make sure that local residents are still able to take part in the daily fantasy sports contests as they have been able to do until now.