Connecticut legal sports betting could be mere weeks or even days away. For Connecticut Sun fans, that means potential chances to put down legal wagers on the team’s upcoming playoff run without having to leave the Nutmeg State.
One of the final and most important legal steps necessary to clear the way for regulated CT sportsbooks is now a settled matter. It’s still uncertain exactly when they will get off the bench and into the game, though.
The latest Connecticut legal sports betting news
Last Thursday, CT Gov. Ned Lamont, in coordination with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Indian Tribe, announced federal approval of their new gaming compacts. The US Dept. of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs must sign off on all tribal gambling agreements.
With enabling legislation and regulations already in place, the tribal casinos, CT Lottery, and their partners essentially have a green light to ready their systems to start taking bets. The now-official compacts provide for:
- Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks at both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos near CT towns
- Online sports betting under the auspices of both tribal gaming operators
- 15 retail CT Lottery sportsbooks around the state
- An online CT Lottery sports betting product
All three of those parties; Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and the Lottery have already finalized partnerships for their sports betting platforms. Those alliances are:
- BetRivers Sportsbook – Lottery
- DraftKings Sportsbook – Foxwoods
- FanDuel Sportsbook – Mohegan Sun
Does that mean a Lottery retail sportsbook is coming to a CT town near you? When will the online sportsbooks go live? Will the retail FanDuel book be inside or near the venue where the Sun play? How soon will that open? Most of those questions lack a definitive answer right now.
When, where, and how all remain elusive right now
FanDuel plans to open a temporary retail location on the Mohegan Sun campus soon. The preparations are currently underway.
Sports betting approved. @FDSportsbook getting ready. @MoheganSun pic.twitter.com/Pv69yJP7Si
— NETime Gambling (@NETimeGambling) September 10, 2021
According to FanDuel, neither the temporary and permanent locations will be inside Mohegan Sun Arena but both will be “within a five-minute walk” of where the WNBA team plays its home games. There’s no firm date for when the temporary location will start to accept wagers, yet.
The same goes for when the online platforms will be available. The initial announcement suggested sometime next month. However, there seems to be some optimism for an earlier partial launch.
UPDATE: Tonight @GovNedLamont said on-site sports wagers could start in days
"I think you'll see @FoxwoodsCT & @MoheganSun start the sports betting on-reservation relatively soon. Off-reservation we still have to get the regulations in place & that could take another 2 or 3 wks”
— John Craven (@johncraven1) September 10, 2021
It’s uncertain whether that “relatively soon” start for on-reservation wagering will entail only online bets, only retail, or both. For CT residents and visitors, it’s important to note the on/off-reservation distinction.
Location will matter when it comes to betting in CT
Save for the games and sports betting that the Lottery offers, the two tribal gaming entities in CT still control gambling. That’s why the availability of sports betting will change based on whether you’re on a reservation and if so, which.
For starters, these geofencing rules will only apply when you actually place your bets. You’ll be able to sign up for accounts, make deposits and withdrawals, and browse the odds on all three licensed books regardless of where you are. That applies to areas outside CT as well.
However, when you go to submit that betting slip, where you are will make a big difference. For example, if you’re on the Mashantucket Pequot tribal lands, you won’t be able to place bets with either BetRivers or FanDuel. DraftKings “owns” that territory.
By the same token, you’ll be restricted to FanDuel only on the Mohegan Tribe reservation. If you aren’t on either tribal land but still within the borders of CT, you’ll be able to wager with all and any of the three simultaneously if you wish.
More information about when you can sign up for accounts with the sportsbooks should be forthcoming soon. The Sun already know some of when their playoff run will begin and these two events could synchronize nicely.
Could betting start with the Sun’s playoff run?
As devoted fans know, the Sun have locked up the top seed in the WNBA playoffs with two games left on their regular-season schedule. That means Connecticut will get a double-bye to the semifinals and play as many as three home games in that best-of-five series.
As the WNBA reseeds the tournament after each round, the Sun will host the lowest surviving seed to reach the semifinals. Should Connecticut prevail in that series, it will also host up to three games in the WNBA Finals.
The WNBA plans to start the playoffs on Sept. 23. Thus, the Sun probably won’t play their first game until the last days of September if not the first days of October. If on-reservation betting does commence “relatively soon,” it could be just in time for Connecticut’s first playoff game.
Either way, CT sports betting is coming soon. It’s just a matter of how much of the Sun playoff run sports wagering will be available for.