On Thursday, Connecticut became the latest state to join the regulated US sports betting market following the roll out of retail wagering at tribal casinos. The two tribal-owned gaming establishments in the state, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment in Uncasville and Foxwoods Resort in Ledyard, marked the occasion with separate ribbon cutting ceremonies, with Gov. Ned Lamont placing the ceremonial first bets at each venue.
Mohegan Sun opened its FanDuel-branded retail sportsbook to patrons at 9.30 am EST on Thursday, making it the first casino to launch sports betting in the state. At the facility, the Governor wagered $50 on the Connecticut Sun, the professional women’s basketball team owned by the Mohegan Tribe. NFL legends Darius Butler and Wayne Chrebet were also in attendance.
Gov. Lamont later bet $20 each on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New York Yankees at Foxwoods Resort Casino. The establishment has put up a temporary sportsbook at the Ultimate Race Book in Rainmaker Casino, and patrons can also place bets at self-service wagering terminals located throughout the resort.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe-owned facility chose DraftKings as its sports betting partner.
Both casinos and their partners are working on launching their mobile betting apps on Oct. 7.
It has taken a lot of input from Gov. Ned Lamont and his administration to get CT sports betting up and running, and the state’s two gaming tribes did not forget to voice out their gratitude to the Governor for his support during the roll out.
In its statement, Mashantucket Pequot Tribe said that the opening had ushered in a new era for Connecticut residents and the tribe, and went on to thank Governor Lamont, the state’s legislators, and the Department of Consumer Protection for their contribution in legalizing the market.
‘’Today we celebrate a new era for our Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, sports fans, Foxwoods guests and Connecticut residents,’’ said the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Rodney Butler.
‘’We thank Governor Lamont and his administration, regulators, and the many lawmakers who helped pave the way for legal sports betting and expanded gaming in the state.’’
Mohegan Sun, on the other hand, said that the launch was an exciting moment and huge milestone for the facility, noting that it wouldn’t have been possible without the input of the Mohegan Tribe, the state, Gov. Lamont, and the casino’s sports betting partner, FanDuel.
‘’To now be able to offer sports betting for Mohegan Sun guests is quite a thrill and a milestone that was a long time in the making. This day wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication and tireless work from our parent company, MGE, my incredible team at Mohegan Sun, leadership with the Mohegan Tribe, Governor Lamont and the state of Connecticut, and our partners at FanDuel Group,’’ said Mohegan Sun’s President and General Manager, Jeff Hamilton, in a press release.
The tribes renegotiated their gaming compacts with Gov. Lamont in March this year, marking an important step in the state’s efforts to legalize statewide sports betting. The amended gaming compacts also allow the tribes to add online casino gaming to their offering.
The roll out of in-person wagering at Connecticut’s tribal casinos comes just a week before the scheduled launch of statewide mobile betting in the state.
Two weeks ago, a spokesperson from Gov. Lamont’s office revealed that the Department of Consumer Protection was working towards an Oct. 7 launch.
The state will have three online wagering apps when the online market takes off – DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers. The BetRivers brand, which is owned by Rush Street Interactive, will partner with the Connecticut Lottery for the launch.
The Connecticut Lottery is also working on opening retail sportsbooks at several Sportech venues in the first week of October.
In addition to mobile sports betting, Nutmeggers can look forward to online casino gaming, although the vertical will launch later this year.
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