Multiple states across the US have legalized sports betting in some capacity. Connecticut betting enthusiasts have been on the outside looking in. Considering how much money can be made with professional sports betting, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Connecticut as the next state to welcome sports betting with open arms. While at one point the state was thought to be a fair distance away from drawing up and passing legislation, Connecticut may have shown its hand due to recent developments.
Is Sports Betting Coming To Connecticut?
The short answer is most likely, yes. This time last year, Rep. Sean Scanlon hinted that sports betting would become legal in 2021. The question is, when and through whom? It wouldn’t be surprising to see Connecticut offer some type of sports betting in the near future. The success its neighboring state New Jersey has had by fully embracing sports betting puts more pressure on Connecticut to follow suit. Let’s take a look at why The United States has this uphill battle in the first place.
The Rise And Fall Of PASPA
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was established in 1991. The purpose of this legislation was to protect the integrity of professional and amateur sports from manipulation. Federal lawmakers saw sports gambling as a problem that affected multiple communities across the United States and the result was a complete ban of sports betting. Just like moonshiners during the prohibition era, if there is an alternative way to fulfill vices, people will seek them out. In the case of sports betting, offshore sportsbooks filled this void that many bettors had.
Thankfully for all the sports bettors out there, the act was abolished by Congress in 2018. This significant milestone would now allow each state to create and implement its own sports betting laws – including Connecticut.
The Draftkings And Mashantucket Pequot Deal
If you are an avid gambler, you may be familiar with a casino named Foxwoods. The Mashantucket Pequot tribe owns this casino and they just recently made a deal with DraftKings. This is a huge development because it lays down the foundation for sports betting in the future. This move would make DraftKings the official partner of Foxwoods. Though this does not finalize sports gambling on a legal level, it pushes the envelope and applies more pressure on the state lawmakers to make changes.
Draftkings is an online sportsbook and daily fantasy juggernaut. This Boston based company has been aggressively pursuing partners for sports betting and has successfully secured contracts in over 9 states. This deal between DraftKings and the Mashantucket Pequot tribe puts pressure on the state to legalize sports betting. Honestly, the state lawmakers might not have a choice. Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the state, Connecticut has regressed in its latest reopening phase. What this boils down to is fewer people are willing to travel to casinos, which in turn means less revenue. If Connecticut would expedite the legalization of online sports betting, it would allow a safe alternative way for those who want to place bets. This would be a win for all parties involved.
How Connecticut Compares To Its Neighboring States
Connecticut isn’t the only state dragging its feet in regards to passing sports betting legislation. New York is also lagging behind, though recent developments hint that the Empire State wants to play catch-up. New Yorkers do have the green light to place wagers on sports but with restrictions. Residents can place bets on professional sports but must physically do so in the few casinos New York offers; no online sports gambling is yet approved. As mentioned before, New Jersey has set the bar on how to handle the process of sports betting. Ever since New Jersey opened its floodgates to the world of sports gambling, it has broken records. Looking at their most recent success, NJ has recorded over a billion dollars worth of bets in the month of December, even in the middle of a pandemic. Don’t think this has gone unnoticed. Both Rhode Island and New Hampshire have fully legalized online sports betting, leaving Connecticut the black sheep of these northern states.
Although nothing is currently set in stone, the writing’s on the wall. After the public announcement by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe on its deal with Draftkings, it’s only a matter of time until sports betting will be legal in Connecticut. All that’s left is the fine print.