Governor Ned Lamont took a risk when he a Connecticut Sports betting contract with just one tribal partner instead of both.
That pretty upset some key parties.
Lamont’s office announced an expanded game agreement with the Mohegan Tribe Tuesday. The announcement came after a joint Public Security Committee Hearing where hopeful CT sports betting providers weighed on the issue.
Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Indianssaid he doubted a bilateral announcement would come with his tribe, who are still negotiating at the hearing. When the announcement finally came, butlers and lawmakers, who support the tribe, were both talking about the deal.
Legislature, Butler Slam Connecticut Sports Betting Announcement
Butler said a two-page announcement was “at the heart of this business,” which left him a little frustrated late Tuesday. Butler told local media it was “extremely disrespectful” for the governor’s office to make an announcement:
“After months of closed negotiations, it is insulting that Governor Lamont is announcing an agreement with only one of the two tribal nations involved in the negotiations, knowing full well that both sovereign nations are required for an agreement to be implemented.
“We participated in these discussions in good faith and we consider today’s events extremely disrespectful to process and content. Now that Governor Lamont has disclosed the confidential terms of our negotiations, you can see the significant and substantial concessions made by both tribes. Just allowing the lottery to participate in full sports betting, with no taxes or revenue sharing, is an important allowance.
“We have one more point of contention that can be easily resolved if a certain level of mutual respect is granted for the specific needs of our tribal community. We remain open to discussion and hope this is resolved quickly for the benefit of the entire state of Connecticut. “
A delegation of 17 legislators from east Connecticut also expressed itself in a letter to the governor’s office:
“We remain committed to the future and modernization of Connecticut gaming. However, we cannot accept this agreement as it is incomplete. It is necessary that the agreement include both the Mohegan tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. Unless an agreement spans both tribes, the East Connecticut delegation simply cannot endorse it. “
Connecticut Sports Betting Details
The announcement between the governor’s office and the Mohegan Indians finally gave a glimpse into expanded gambling in the state:
- Sports betting income would also be taxed 13.5% while iGaming gets one 20% Tax rate.
- The Mohegan Indians get a skin. The tribe signed camp as a sports betting partner almost two years ago.
- The Connecticut Lottery is also getting an online sports betting skin. That is in addition to 15 retail locations this can make sports betting possible.
- New lottery-operated sports betting venues would be incorporated Bridgeport and Hartford.
- The lottery may sub-license some of these retail stores to Sports, but Sportech does not get an online license.
Sportech threatens to sue
Sportech is the state’s exclusive parimutuel betting company and has been campaigning for its inclusion for years. The company is included in the plans, but only if the Connecticut lottery allow it.
Sportech doesn’t take its place too well in the proposed expanded gambling agreement, according to a statement:
“A year ago, Governor Lamont said he would seek a fair solution to expanding gambling to include existing gambling operators, which” must be designed to avoid and overcome endless legal challenges. “Unfortunately, the governor’s announcement leaves us this afternoon who mainly excludes Sportech from extended gaming, only the ability to appeal on behalf of our 400 Connecticut employees. “
Sportech’s main argument is that sports betting is not a casino game. That said, it shouldn’t just be given to the two tribes who have exclusivity to casino games in the state.