Connecticut Tribal Chairman Questions Delay in Sports Betting

Connecticut Tribal Chairman Questions Delay in Sports Betting

Rodney Butler, the chairman of Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, recently expressed his displeasure with sports betting delays in the state. He said that there is no valid reason for the state to not grant the two tribes sports betting privileges.

Sports betting competition spiking

Sports betting will soon become operational in all three of the bordering states of Connecticut. Rhode Island allows users to place bets in-person and online. New York also allows tribal and commercial casinos to hold sports betting. Massachusetts is also expected to legalize sports betting next year in the state. Butler now says that it is high time that Connecticut lawmakers start to act.

Connecticut Tribal Chairman Questions Delay in Sports Betting

Speaking to CT News Junkie, Butler said,

“There’s no reason why this initiative can’t be part of an economic stimulus program for the state. Rather than simply spending money, this will generate money that can be reallocated to programs that need it throughout the state. It’s much better than raising taxes.”

He asked what the state is waiting for now. The conversations regarding sports betting legalization have been ongoing for at least three years now. The talks started even before the Supreme Court struck down the federal probation on gambling activity in May 2018.

Connecticut’s gaming fate in trouble

The Nutmeg state doesn’t host any commercial casinos. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe run the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos respectively. Sports betting is currently entangled in the gaming expansion debate as well. In 2017, the then governor Dannel Malloy allowed the two tribes to jointly build a satellite mini-casino in East Windsor. MGM Resorts then sued the state, alleging that it had allowed commercial gambling in the state without holding a competitive bidding process.

The state has seen several sports betting initiatives in 2019 but none of them managed to gain momentum. Each effort was marred because of legal opinion on the exclusivity of sports betting to the state’s tribes. Butler suggests that if other parties are allowed to operate sports betting, then a 1991 compact with the Native American tribes. This will also restrict the 25% gaming revenue share sent to the state. Governor Ned Lamont is promising a special legislative session in September where problems related to the coronavirus could be discussed.

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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.