Gov. Lamont reaches gaming expansion agreement with Mohegan, Mashantucket Pequot tribes

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Governor Ned Lamont has announced that an agreement has been made with both the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe to modernize and expand the gaming industry in the state.

The Connecticut Lottery will be a partner in the effort to modernize the state’s gaming landscape. The agreement is set to generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the state, and your phone will turn into a slot machine in the blink of an eye.

Pequot Tribal Chair Rodney Butler, “We had a fairly frank conversation about where we were at and we all refocused.”

Key parts of the agreement include:

  • An 18% tax rate for the first five years on new online commercial casino gaming (or “iGaming”) offerings, followed by a 20% tax rate for at least the next five years.
  • A 13.75% tax rate on sports wagering.
  • Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to operate 15 retail sports betting locations, as well as operate an online sports betting skin.
  • Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to sublicense locations to the state-licensed parimutuel operator.
  • Connecticut Lottery will undertake new retail sports betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport
  • License agreement to be for 10 years with a five-year extension option.
  • Expansion of iLottery and Keno through the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, including the sale of draw tickets online.
  • Both tribes agree to halt development of an East Windsor casino through the duration of this agreement.

RELATED: Eastern CT lawmakers opposing gaming agreement that doesn’t include tribe who runs Foxwoods

A previous agreement was made earlier this month between the state and Mohegan Tribe but it faced backlash because the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe was not included.

“Connecticut is on cusp of providing a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience for our residents, which will be competitive with our neighboring states,” Governor Lamont said. “It’s something all our neighbors are doing, something to bring cities and towns back to life real revenue for taxpayers.”

The Mohegan Tribal Chairman tells News 8, “This will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, to the benefit of both state and local municipal budgets, as well as our tribe’s members.”

The CEO for the Connecticut Lottery told News 8 Thursday, “The CLC has already contributed nearly $300 million to the general fund, and we are poised to continue delivering responsibility for the state through these additional revenue streams.”

Sportech released a statement following the announcement:

“Sportech supports expanded gaming in the State; however Federal and State law mandates a level playing field. Today’s announcement does not appear to offer that level playing field; Connecticut consumers will be deprived of a healthy competitive betting marketplace and the Connecticut jobs that Sportech supports will be at risk.

We continue our dialogue with the Administration in pursuing gaming expansion that does not contravene laws and discriminate against not only our employees, but all Connecticut consumers.”

Sportech is continuing to talk to the administration. If approved, the 10-year agreement could get extended another five years by mutual consent and\no legislative approval.

“Especially now that lottery is in the game we are all motivated to get this done quickly,” added Chairman Rodney Butler.

There are several big hurdles this deal must jump. The state legislature has to approve it. The Speaker of the House tells News 8’s Chief Political Correspondent Jodi Latina there may be joint public hearings of legislative committees before the deal goes for a vote of the full legislature.

The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has to sign off. They have 60 to 90 days to respond.

The State Department of Consumer Protection also has to sign off as well.

Representative Sean Scanlon, Chair of the Finance, Revenue, and Bonding Committee, has issued the following statement on the agreement:

“The agreement reached today by Governor Lamont, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and the Mohegan Tribe to legalize sports betting and modernize gaming is a good deal for the state, fans and our economy and the legislature should act quickly to approve it.”

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