Could fantasy sports betting in Connecticut be shutdown this summer?


Conn. (WTNH) — How popular is Fantasy Sports betting in Connecticut? An estimated 600,000 residents reportedly take part.

You chose a fantasy roster of athletes based on real-life athletes, and then make bets as to how successful your team may be according to real-life statistics. But some say the bill to expand gaming in Connecticut may have put fantasy sports in danger of being shut down.

By a vote of 122 to 21, the House Speaker declared, “The Bill as amended is passed!”

Expansion of Gaming in Connecticut closer to reality, but there may be an issue. Some say based in fantasy land, but providers of Fantasy Sports betting – like the popular DraftKings are concerned.

The bill clears up how fantasy sports will work legally in the state.

But the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association says the proposal puts fantasy sports in danger. In a statement saying, “Legislation currently under consideration by the Connecticut General Assembly could result in the shutdown of paid fantasy sports in Connecticut for a significant period of time, possibly through the NFL season.”

Peter Schoenke, owner of and a member of the board of directors of the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association tells News 8, “Clearly, they (lawmakers) made a mistake and there are going to be a lot of businesses, and customers locked out of playing fantasy sports and football this fall when that wasn’t the intention at all.”

In order to operate fantasy contests, the bill requires regulations to be in place. The Department of Consumer Protection has until January to get those done, leaving confusion.

State Representative Maria Horn, the Democratic Chair of the Public Safety Committee says for years fantasy sports have been living in a grey area. And until DCP writes the rules, “In the interim fantasy sports remains in the murky legal territory.”

What’s clear; safeguards are in place. 18-year-olds can bet on fantasy sports. You must be 21 for all other wagers.

State Representative Holly Cheesman the Republican Ranking Member on the Finance Committee explains, “There is robust security in place. It’s like your bank account on steroids.”

Exclusive off-track betting player, Sportech is not in the deal.

The CEO Richard McGuire says, “Granting exclusive gaming rights and sports betting to the Tribes, and deliberately excluding the only business currently approved to take bets, is clearly prejudicial.”

Leaders say they could partner with CT Lottery on sports betting at retail outlets.

“The facts on the ground show they are in a very good position to partner. They are in that business,” added Rep. Horn.

Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are each mandated to put half a million a year into the problem Gambling Fund. The CT Lottery must send $1 million.

State Representative Greg Howard a Republican Ranking member of the Public Safety Committee stated, “In New Jersey, not only did they not have a problem, but they saw an influx brick and mortar establishments.”

The bill now goes to the Senate and the governor will sign it. Then the federal department of the interior and the Bureau of Indian affairs has to sign off.

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