Connecticut Sportsbook Operators Submit Soft Launch Plans
With Connecticut on the cusp of sports betting, three operators are preparing for soft launches.
The state’s Department of Consumer Protection confirmed Tuesday that DraftKings, BetFair (FanDuel) and Rush Street Interactive have all submitted proposals for how they plan to conduct a soft launch in Connecticut.
No date has been announced for when that soft launch might take place, but all three filed the 10-day notice by law and a seven-day soft launch period is projected to start around Sept. 30. The official live date is expected to be Oct. 7.
Just last week, Paul Mounds, chief of staff to Gov. Ned Lamont, said that live sports betting would begin on Oct. 7.
If Connecticut makes its target date, residents would be able to bet on the Week 5 NFL games.
UConn men’s college basketball is set to begin its regular season on Nov. 9 as the Huskies start a four-game homestand against Central Connecticut State.
Online casinos will likely take a little longer to launch in Connecticut. In addition to their sportsbooks, DraftKings Casino and FanDuel Casino will offer online casino games in the state.
Where To Bet In Connecticut
Bettors will have three options to place their wagers once Connecticut launches its sports betting operations.
FanDuel Sportsbook is partnered with the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville. DraftKings Sportsbook has partnered with Foxwoods in Mashantucket. Rush Street Interactive reached a deal with the Connecticut Lottery to enter the market. Rush Street operates Sugarhouse Sportsbook, which is expected to be the brand in Connecticut. It also has the BetRivers brand.
An early October launch would conclude what has been a quick turnaround from when Lamont signed sports betting and online casino gaming into law on May 27. The Department of Consumer Protection then set the rules and started the application process for operators. Meanwhile, the Connecticut Lottery went through 15 operator applications before settling on Rush Street Interactive as a partner on Aug. 12.
Retail Sites First?
Lamont told local media on Sept. 14 that he expects the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun tribal casinos to launch their retail sportsbooks before the state’s online market debuts.
“My instinct is the tribes, hopefully, will do something collaboratively at the same time on-site, and we're just waiting for the final approval so we can get everything going online as well,” Lamont said.
On Sept. 15, the Federal Register published the gaming compacts, giving tribes the opportunity to launch their retail sports betting operations soon. The tribes received approval on the revisions to their gaming compacts on Sept. 9.
“Modernizing our gaming industry will help protect and create Connecticut jobs, and it will generate tax revenues to the benefit of both state and local municipal budgets, as well as our tribe’s members,” Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman James Gessner Jr. said in a statement. “This is not just a regional issue — it will have a statewide impact as Connecticut works to meet critical needs as it recovers from the pandemic.”
Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.