Place Your Bets: Connecticut Retail Sports Wagering is Live
Sports betting is live in Connecticut, with the first live bets placed at two casinos Thursday morning. With those wagers, the Connecticut gaming market, which will include online sports betting and online casinos as soon as next week, was off and running.
A temporary DraftKings Sportsbook opened at the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s Foxwoods Resort Casino. Bettors could wager at the temporary retail sportsbook, at the Ultimate Race Book in Rainmaker Casino. Self-service betting kiosks also went live throughout the resort.
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FanDuel, partnering with the Mohegan Tribe, launched its temporary retail sportsbook with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville. Gov. Ned Lamont placed the first legal bet — $50 on the Connecticut Sun in the WNBA Playoffs — at Mohegan Sun. The sportsbook has four live betting windows and 50 self-service betting terminals.
The governor also placed the first ceremonial bet at Foxwoods, wagering $20 for the Yankees to win Thursday night.
Both operators and the tribes announced Wednesday they would go live on Thursday.
All of this comes three days before former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s return to the region on Sunday in Week 4 of the NFL. The Patriots will host Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night.
The second compact between the state and tribes was published in the Federal Register on Monday, allowing for retail sports betting to launch.
When Will Online Launch?
Online sports betting is expected to launch next week, pending regulatory approvals. Online sportsbooks are expected to have a seven-day soft launch and have been targeting a full launch on Oct. 7.
An Oct. 7 launch, though not finalized, would allow Connecticut bettors to place online wagers on NFL Week 5 games. The American Gaming Association recently reported that it expected a big increase in NFL betting in 2021.
The Connecticut Lottery Corp. will launch online sports betting with Rush Street Interactive, which operates SugarHouse Sportsbook. It will join DraftKings and FanDuel in the online sports betting market.
In the coming weeks, DraftKings and Foxwoods will announce the opening of their permanent retail sportsbook, currently in the final stages of construction.
Online casinos are also legal in Connecticut, but likely will launch after online sports betting, though it’s also possible they could all go live near the same time. DraftKings Casino and FanDuel Casino will provide online casino gaming in the state.
Genius Sports Approved
Piggybacking on Thursday’s live betting, Genius Sports announced that it has been certified by the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs as an online gaming service provider.
With the addition of Connecticut, Genius Sports is now authorized to operate in 17 states.
“We are thrilled that Connecticut has awarded Genius Sports its inaugural online gaming service provider permit, allowing authorized sportsbooks access to our industry-leading solutions,” Mark Locke, CEO of Genius Sports, said in a news release Thursday. “There are an increasing number of U.S. states looking to provide their residents with the best quality fan experiences, while capturing the full value available to the state.
”Genius Sports welcomes the opportunity to work with states like Connecticut, using our official sports data-powered solutions to underpin their authorized sportsbooks.”
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.