Connecticut regulators announced Monday that online sports wagering and online casino games can begin in earnest within hours, now that a seven-day limited “soft launch” of the state's newest forms of wagering has been successfully completed.
Three organizations — the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe — will be allowed to begin offering online sports betting at 6 a.m. Tuesday to all adults age 21 and older. Betting will take place through the organizations' respective partners: Rush Street Interactive, FanDuel and DraftKings. Each was limited to an initial 750 patrons during last week's soft launch.
The tribes — owners and operators of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino in southeastern Connecticut — will be allowed to also begin offering “iCasino" games to players age 21 and older. FanDuel, which is partners with Mohegan Sun, has been approved by state regulators to offer 130 games while DraftKings, which has teamed up with Foxwoods, has been approved to offer 163 games so far.
“This is an exciting moment for our state and our tribal partners,” said Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who announced the agency's final go-ahead in a written statement. He said it marked "one of the fastest state implementations of online gaming and sports wagering of any state in the nation.” Lamont signed legislation in May legalizing sports wagering and online gambling after years of debate and failed negotiations with the state’s two federally recognized tribal nations, who have exclusive rights to certain forms of gambling in Connecticut.
The state's new law allows the lottery to also offer online keno and online lottery tickets, but those plans have not yet been approved by the Department of Consumer Protection. Players 18 years and older will be allowed to play those games, as well as fantasy sports contests, which all three operators can offer.
Meanwhile, the lottery, which is partnering with off-track betting operator Sportech, is still awaiting final regulatory approval of its in-person sports betting offerings. The lottery expects to eventually roll out betting kiosks in 10 Sportech venues in the state in phases. The two casinos unveiled their in-person sites on Sept. 30.
During the soft launch, state regulators worked with the operators to make sure their platforms were working properly and there were no glitches in the security infrastructure. They also checked limitations on where people can place bets, who can sign up to play and how. It was also an opportunity for the Department of Consumer Protection to make sure all three were able to provide required reports to the state.