Lamont at Loggerheads with Indian Tribes over Sports Betting Bill

Lamont at Loggerheads with Indian Tribes over Sports Betting Bill

Gov. Ned Lamont of Connecticut has criticized a new bill that would grant the state’s Indian tribes exclusive rights over their proposed sports betting operations. The two federally recognized tribes are Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan.

No exclusivity for tribes

The governor’s latest criticism of the sports betting bill has thrown the jeopardized the possibility of a new casino in Bridgeport once again. The bill in question was introduced by Sprague Democrat, Sen. Cathy Osten. The bill, titled, “An Act Concerning Jobs In and Revenue from the Gaming Industry,” has been endorsed by other Democratic leaders of the state.

It will give the two tribes exclusive control over sports betting operations in Connecticut, in casinos as well as online. It will be inclusive of the new Bridgeport casino as well as iGaming rights, which allows users to bet on the outcome of an event online.

Lamont at Loggerheads with Indian Tribes over Sports Betting Bill

While introducing the bill, Osten said that the bill will help distribute $88 million in additional funding via gaming revenues. The Senator added,

“That’s up from the current $51 million – with the possibility of another $25 million or so for several targeted, impacted communities.”

The bill is also expected to bring new jobs in the state and give it an economic boost. Osten emphasized that more tribal funds will be directed to the cities and towns of the state during the address.

Lamont supports a different bill

Gov. Lamont threw his weight behind West Hartford Democratic Rep. Joe Verrengia’s bill, who is also the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee. Verrengia’s bill allows tribes, the Connecticut Lottery and other operators of off-track betting locations to provide sports betting offerings to users. In a statement, Lamont’s spokesperson quoted the governor as saying that the bill is

“simpler, focuses exclusively on sports betting, and is, therefore, more achievable in this short legislative session.”

The statement added that the second approach should be considered as better because it doesn’t sever the state’s existing relationship with the tribes and saves it from legal challenges from third parties as well. It will also help in promoting competitive and fair sports betting market in the state outside of the tribal reservations.

Lamont is interested in signing a sports betting bill into law in the next few months but isn’t interested in a bill that will stifle competition or bring countless legal challenges to the state.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.