Sports betting is a hot topic in Connecticut, as lawmakers held a second marathon meeting to discuss it. HB 7331 is the bill under consideration, as it aims to legalize mobile sports betting. At the same time, it permits off-track betting, casinos, and Connecticut Lottery to offer sports wagering services to the residents of the state.
Also, the two tribes Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot living in Connecticut will have to start negotiations regarding the tribal-state compacts. They will determine whether the state will continue receiving over $250 million generated from tribal gaming.
The Public Safety and Security Committee was present at the hearing, listening to what everyone had to say about the sports betting bill.
Tribes speak out about sports betting
Foxwoods tribal gaming commission’s chair, George Henningsen stated that the state should consider sports betting as a casino game. He pointed out that after the 1994 memorandum of understanding (MOU), casinos in Nevada offered legal sports betting.
Despite talking in favor of sports betting, he also admitted that there isn’t a proper definition for what falls under casino games. Due to the lack of information in this area, the term needs litigation so that everyone can understand what it means.
At the same time, he stated that he wasn’t sure how a court would help make this terminology clear for all parties. Also, he claimed that should the state allow sports wagering to take place off tribal properties; the tribes won’t make their slot machine payments.
However, Republican JP Sredzinski was quick to point out that the tribes offered scratch-off tickets to win the lottery in their casinos. He claimed that that doesn’t mean it falls under casino games, as the state allows sales of lottery tickets.
Joe Verrengia, the Committee Chairman, made it clear that even the tribes will suffer if they decide to take action against the state.
Lawmakers want to pass HB 7331 quickly
On the other hand, Matt Ritter, the House Majority Leader, stated that it was essential to pass the bill as sports betting is crucial for the state. Their neighbors, Rhode Island, approved sports wagering after the ruling from the U.S Supreme Court.
According to Joe Aresimowicz, the Speaker of the House, the State’s General Assembly should vote in favor of the bill. If they fail to do so, the residents of Connecticut might end up driving to Rhode Island to place their wagers.
Source – Igaming world