Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut made an important announcement on Wednesday to restart conversations about sports wagering with the state’s tribes.
The history of Connecticut’s sports betting
Though sports betting has been an important issue in the state, the lawmakers continued to ignore the topic during the summer and fall legislative sessions. Lamont rekindled the issue once again this week when he met the representatives of Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. The tribes operate two large casinos in the southeastern part of the state.
After the meeting, he told reporters that he had a good conversation with the leaders of the tribe and is looking forward to reaching an agreement with them. He said that the neighboring states of Connecticut are trying to work very hard on sports betting.
“I want to do that in association with the tribes… We’re doing that in collaboration and doing it in a way that mitigates the risk of a lawsuit,” said Lamont.
He wants the agreement to be ratified in the General Assembly when it resumes session in February next year.
Lamont’s view on sports betting
Previously, Lamont tried to push a “global” solution for multiple gambling problems in the state. However, these solutions are not easy to come by, given the complexity of the gambling markets. He said that iLottery is important for the state because it helps in subsidizing community college for the state. He emphasized the need for a debt-free community college.
Lamont said that this is the beginning of an agreement and said that instead of focusing on a full-fledged agreement, they should focus on one sector at a time so they can get something on the table by spring. The tribes in the state have long defended their right to offer sports betting exclusively in the state. The Governor didn’t mention if the tribes had agreed to provide some wiggle room for the same. However, he said that he is focused on solving this problem for the state.
In 2017, the state lawmakers suggested that they were far ahead of its neighbors in creating sports betting legislation. Instead, a Major League Baseball representative said in April 2018 that the state could create model legislation for other states to follow. The state is stuck in its own legislation since then, while other states have gone ahead to create their own legalized sports betting markets.