Connecticut Governor Declines Online Tribal Gambling

Connecticut Governor Declines Online Tribal Gambling

Two prominent Indian tribes in Connecticut have been campaigning for the rights to offer legalized online gambling in the state. However, the governor is not impressed with their plans.

Tribes bring millions in revenue

The state of Connecticut has five indigenous tribes, out of which the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe are federally recognized. Both the tribes wield significant political power in the state and have been offering the state millions in tax revenue. In the first 10 years of legalized gambling, they have provided $6.4 billion to the state with the 2019 revenue alone totaling $628.9 million.

Connecticut Governor Declines Online Tribal Gambling

Both the tribes are currently offering free-play online gaming sites that focus on their land-based properties. However, they are not allowed to offer real-money games online yet. The tribes want to get permission to operate online at a time when the casinos have been shut down indefinitely. They have also received unanimous support from the Southeastern Connecticut Council of Governments (SCCOG). However, Governor Ned Lamont is not interested in the idea.

Governor’s denial causes issues

The SCCOG is a public agency representing 22 boroughs, cities and towns in Connecticut. It supports the tribe’s idea of providing online gambling services and approves SB 21, the bipartisan bill introduced in the legislature in 2020 that suggests internet gaming, sports betting and keno offerings for the two tribes. Since the COVID-19 outbreak led to a shutdown of casinos, their 5000 workers have been furloughed.

The SCCOG wrote a letter to the governor to allow online gambling for the tribes but Lamont denied their request suggesting that legalization of online gambling is a big policy decision. Online gambling makes speculative products more easily accessible to users and the idea has not been adequately supported in the legislature yet.

He said,

“Doing so at a time when so many Connecticut residents are in financial distress would be a particularly significant policy decision to make without legislative approval.”

He added that the state is not in a position to enforce or establish a regulatory framework that could help in the implementation of online gambling in the state.

The future of SB21 is currently hanging in balance because the state is diverting all its attention to containing the spread of COVID-19. Just like other states, it seems unlikely that the discussion on the bill will happen anytime soon. Therefore, supporters may have to wait for at least a year.

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.