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Connecticut considering new sports betting bills

House Bill 5168, Sponsored by Representative Joseph Gresko, would allow Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes –the only entities licensed to offer gambling in Connecticut – and other operators to apply for a new license to offer sports wagering in the state.

Operators would not need to be physically present it the state to offer online and mobile sports betting. However, land-based batting would be limited to facilities located on tribal properties.

A sports betting operator license would cost an initial non-refundable fee of $100,000, in addition to a further $750,000 for license issuances and renewals – the permits would be valid for 5 years.

Connecticut would also offer sports gambling vendor licenses so the operators can work with a 3rd party to offer betting in the state. Applicants would again pay the initial $100,000, as well as $300,000 when the license is issued and every 5 years for permit renewal.

The bill makes Connecticut’s Commissioner of Consumer Protection responsible for processing license applications.

Sports betting would attract a 10% tax on land-based activity, and 14.75% from online or mobile platform wagering gross revenue.

Additional requirements introduced by HB 5168 require licensees to enter a partnership with a recognised sports data provider and reporting dubious gambling activity to the state’s Department of Consumer Protection.

Consumers must be more than 21 years old and located inside the state to place bets. Also, the bill states that players should be allowed to exclude themselves from betting or set deposit caps.

The bill requires Governor Lamont to reach an agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to modify the existing arrangement that currently grants them exclusivity to sports wagering in the state. Any amendments would need to comply with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Two other sports wagering bills have also been put forward in Connecticut’s Senate. Senate Bill 00021 and 00212 both set out plans to legalise sports betting, online gaming, internet lottery, online keno, entertainment facilities and a new gambling location in Bridgeport.

These bills mainly relate to tribal gambling and would also necessitate amendment of existing agreements with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to progress.

If an agreement is reached, then the bills would permit all federally recognized tribes that run Class III gaming on their Indian lands in the state to operate one online skin for sports wagering online or via a mobile application, as well as one skin for online casino.

These bills also seek to authorize a tribally-owned company to operate a new casino in the city of Bridgeport, provided that the business commits to spend at least $100m on the project.

The goal is to put the measures in place by July 1, 2020 – the bills have been handed to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security for further discussion.

Source – Igaming world

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