At last, Connecticut residents have been granted access to state-licensed sports betting options! As of today, September 30, retail sportsbook locations have officially opened up at the Foxwood and Mohegan Sun casinos.
News broke on Wednesday that the state had issued licenses to its first round of applicants, including the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe.
However, non-tribal license-holders must wait until the official October 7th launch date to start CT sportsbook operations.
Because American Indian tribes operate on sovereign land, outside of the state/federal jurisdiction, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes had the autonomy to open as early as they saw fit.
And they did!
At 9:30 this morning, the Mohegan Sun began welcoming patrons into their Sports and Arrow sports bar. They started the event with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont.
DraftKings also made an announcement stating that their partnership with the Foxwood Casino would commence on the 30th. The chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe said the following:
“Today we celebrate a new era for our Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, sports fans, Foxwoods guests and Connecticut residents…” – Rodney Butler
While other retail and online sports betting options won’t be available for another week, many small business owners are preparing for the rush of clientele to accompany the launch. Some anticipate that sports betting revenues will reach new highs.
“This is going to be every week, every day, and it’s going to drive a lot of traffic here…Everybody is going to prosper enormously from this. I think it’s going to pay out much more than they originally projected…They are underestimating the numbers they are going to do, I think.” – Jack Maloney, Owner of Shea’s Pizzeria and Sports Bar
Small businesses like Shea’s Pizzeria will have to wait longer to kick off operations than several of its rival sportsbooks. This is because of a major shortage of machinery associated with the recent boom in US sports betting legislation.
But due to Connecticut’s expansive market and brand loyalty associated with Mom & Pop restaurants, these businesses should have no issues finding patrons to use their kiosks.
Those uninterested in sports betting or who already have a history of problem gaming will be allowed to opt out of sportsbook services before the state’s official launch. They can do so through the state’s online portal, indicating a one-year, five-year, or lifetime ban.
And for those who prefer to stick to offshore sportsbook sites, enjoy the highs of getting to share your passion with a whole new base of sports betting fans.