(WTNH) – It’s official! Opening day for sports betting in Connecticut is just weeks away. Governor Ned Lamont has slated October 7 as the kickoff.
That was the day that both tribal nations and the CT Lottery could go live with their sports betting and online gaming operations. However, because they’re on sovereign land, casinos can start placing bets in person earlier.
DraftKings at Foxwoods will start in a few weeks.
For the last ten years, the state has been negotiating an expansion of gaming in our state. Earlier this summer, lawmakers passed the rules. CT Lottery and both Native American tribes can run the expanded games.
Last week, the Federal Bureau of the Interior signed off on amending the tribal compacts. Now, all that is left is the Department of Consumer Protection awarding master licenses. Policy makers are also preparing for an uptick in problem gambling.
“It truly is in the heart of the campus and it’s going to be, it’s going to have six tellers for betting windows, a forty by forty video wall, full bar, dinner menu, and it’s going to be two levels. It’s going to be incredibly exciting. I can’t even give it justice trying to describe it to you. You’re going to have to wait and see it,” said Rodney Butler, Chair of Mashantucket Pequots.
“The Connecticut Council is not for or against gambling. We are not the gambling police, we are not here to tell people how to spend they’re disposable income. That is not our job. We just want to make sure that if gambling becomes easier and more accessible that there are safeguard in place for people who do have a problem,” said Diana Goode, Executive Director of the CT Council on Problem Gambling.
Goode says one failure of the new law is not having one stop shopping for gamblers who want to put their named on the exclusion list, which means they’re not legally allowed to place bets. In the meantime, the tribal nations and the CT Lottery will have to write a check to the state, some $2 million every year that will go to combating problem gambling.
The state is also slated to get a percentage of the money collected by the operators in this expansion.