Connecticut residents bet about $150 million a year on horse and dog racing and jai alai games displayed on big screens at Off Track Betting facilities around the state.
There are 16 OTBs scattered around the state owned and operated by Great Britain-based Sportech. Their local base of operations is in New Haven.
They are also great meeting places for people following all other sports and it is widely known that people are already betting on other sporting events.
“I could sit here now and, if I was bright enough, I could set up an online account with somebody in Costa Rica. Not allowed to do that but I could do it quite quickly and the state’s making no money from that,” said Ted Taylor of Sportech, Inc.
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Sportech makes a strong argument that, because of the exisiting security and technology they’ve already invested in these tightly regulated facilities, they are the logical place for legal sports betting in Connecticut. Taylor added, “It brings something that’s already happening illegally into that legal framework and quite quickly alalows the state to start driving tax revenues.”
And Sportech is not pushing for exclusivity on sports betting.
Taylor said he believes that state’s two Native American-operated casinos should be doing the same thing.
He said, “Because we believe that there’s up to $600 million worth of illegal sports betting in the state right now, there is money that would be beneficial to the state.”