Cathy Osten


Cathy Osten



May 25, 2021

Sen. Osten Leads Final Senate Approval of Online Gaming & Sports Betting Bill

HARTFORD – State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague) today led final passage in the state Senate of a bill that will bring sports betting and online gambling to Connecticut, run by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.

House Bill 6451, “AN ACT CONCERNING GAMING AGREEMENTS WITH THE MASHANTUCKET PEQUOT TRIBE AND THE MOHEGAN TRIBE OF INDIANS OF CONNECTICUT,” passed the Senate this evening on a bipartisan 28-6 vote after passing the House of Representatives last week on a bipartisan 122-21 vote. The bill now goes to Governor Ned Lamont, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

“This bill represents years of work to expand gaming in our state,” said Sen. Osten who for several years has led efforts to negotiate a new state compact with the two tribes, whose tribal nations reside within her district. “And it’s important to note that this bill is not just about updating our gaming compacts to reflect modern gambling trends. This bill is also about jobs and businesses and revenue and the economy not only in southeastern Connecticut, but all throughout Connecticut, because that’s where the employees of these two casinos live. This bill is also about recognizing and honoring Connecticut’s Native American history, and two of our largest employers in the state. This bill has been a long time coming and I am very glad to see it pass tonight.”

The bill is based on a new, contractual agreement negotiated between the governor and the tribal nations that must still be approved by the U.S. Department of Interior and published in the Federal Register.

The bill will allow the tribes to conduct in-person and online sports wagering and fantasy sports wagering on their reservations, and to conduct online sports betting for casino games and fantasy sports.

The bill also allows the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) to conduct in-person and online sports wagering, online keno, and online lottery games. The CLC can also conduct in-person sports wagering at up to 15 facilities, which may be licensed off-track betting facilities pursuant to the creation of an operating agreement.

In exchange for the right to conduct these expanded gambling operations, the bill requires monthly payments from the tribes and the CLC to the state’s General Fund ranging from 13.75% to 20% of gross revenues from sports wagering, online casino gaming, and fantasy contests, and annual payments of $500,000 from each tribe and $1 million from the CLC toward certain problem gambling programs. The bill also delays the authorization of an off-reservation casino gaming facility in East Windsor for 10 years.

Finally, the bill creates a licensing process for fantasy sports betting sites like Draft Kings and Fan Duel. Those sites will be allowed to operate in Connecticut like any other form of sports wagering after the state creates regulations and issues licenses to them.