Online sports betting will finally become available in the state of Connecticut, on a limited basis.
It was officially announced that a “soft launch” of the new form of gambling will take place on October 12th, with several hundred residents of the state set to be allowed to open accounts to place bets for a seven-day period. As part of the soft launch, local people will be able to use their smartphones, tablets and other devices to get online and start placing bets.
Once the launch of the new form of gambling is finalized, online gambling will become available statewide.
The soft launch of online sports betting in the state, however, includes certain restrictions regarding the number of customers and hours of operation of the license holders.
Retail and online sports betting became first available in Connecticut on September 30th, when the state’s two tribal casinos – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun – celebrated the opening of their temporary sports betting venues. As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation will also be permitted to offer sports betting both off- and online at 15 locations around the state.
A few days ago, the Department of Consumer Protection officially revealed that the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, the Mohegan Tribe and the quasi-public lottery – the Connecticut Lottery Corporation – may give the start of sports betting’s soft launch on October 12th. The completion of the soft launch will mark the beginning of online sports betting statewide.
Online Sports Wagering to Be Subject to Some Restrictions during Soft Launch
As mentioned above, certain restrictions are set to apply in terms of the operating license holders in the state.
The two Indian tribes, however, have different parameters than the Connecticut Lottery Corporation. They will be allowed to offer online sports betting only on the territory of the state, with up to 750 people permitted to use the online platform. Furthermore, during the soft launch, Connecticut punters will be allowed to make bets only during certain times of the day – from 3:00 PM to 11:00 PM on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 12:00 PM to 11:59 PM on Thursday and Friday, and the rest of the soft launch period will see them tunning on a 24-hour cycle.
During the soft launch that had been approved by the Department of Consumer Protection, the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribe will be permitted to launch online sports betting within the state, as well as limited online casino gaming which includes more than 100 games. No live dealer or peer-to-peer online casino games will be allowed at the time of the soft launch.
After the soft launch period, the first legal online sportsbook in Connecticut is set to go live on October 19th. Local officials had initially planned the roll-out of the sports betting service on October 7th, but the statewide launch was delayed by a separate federal approval process.
Connecticut Lawmakers Legalized Online Sports Betting in May
Technically, online sports betting was legalized by Connecticut lawmakers in May but state and federal officials were still supposed to undertake a regulatory review process that is now expected to be brought to an end on October 19th.
Earlier in 2021, the two federally recognized tribes and Governor Ned Lamont agreed on a new gaming compact that paved the way for the addition of expanded gaming options in Connecticut. However, under the provisions of federal law, the compact could not see sports betting launched right away since the agreement was subject to approval from the Department of the Interior. Such approval was given to the two Indian Tribes’ agreements with the state this fall.
Under the final approval of the compact, which was published in the Federal Registrar, the two sportsbooks were allowed to open. This permission, however, applied only to retail sports betting services because online sports betting was subject to a separate regulatory process that was carried out by state-level regulatory bodies.