Retail Sports Betting in Connecticut to Begin Thursday
Sports betting will finally go live in Connecticut on Thursday, just in time for former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s return to the region on Sunday.
DraftKings and The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation announced Wednesday that retail sports betting in Connecticut will begin on Thursday at Foxwoods Resort Casino.
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FanDuel, partnered with the Mohegans, will launch its temporary retail sportsbook Thursday morning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville. The temporary sportsbook will have four live betting windows and 50 self-service betting terminals.
Kaitlyn Krasselt of the Department of Consumer Protection said Wednesday that the appropriate licenses have been issued to both tribes for on-reservation sports betting.
Earlier this week, the second compact between the state and tribes was published in the Federal Register, clearing the way for sports betting to move forward.
Bettors will be able to place bets at a temporary DraftKings Sportsbook at Foxwoods, located at the Ultimate Race Book in Rainmaker Casino. There will also be self-service betting kiosks throughout the resort.
The New England Patriots, Brady's former team, will host his Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday (8:20 p.m. ET on NBC).
Online Wagering Coming Soon
Online sports betting is expected to launch in early October, 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 wager on NFL Week 5 games. The American Gaming Association said in early September that it expected a big increase in NFL betting in 2021.
Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal chairman, said in a news release that with the “NFL season in full force, it’s game on, and we look forward to a successful launch.
“Today we celebrate a new era for our Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, sports fans, Foxwoods guests and Connecticut residents,” Butler said. “We thank Governor Lamont and his administration, regulators, and the many lawmakers who helped pave the way for legal sports betting and expanded gaming in the state. Their collaboration and hard work has allowed trusted gaming operators like our Tribe and DraftKings to help lead innovation across Connecticut.”
Permanent Connecticut Sportsbook Next
In the coming weeks, DraftKings and Foxwoods will announce the opening of their permanent retail sportsbook, currently in the final stages of construction.
“We’re thrilled to join the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in bringing a holistic and delightful sports betting experience for customers in Connecticut,” said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America. “By leveraging the Tribe’s expertise in developing and operating one of the largest resort casinos in the world, we are excited to bring new offerings for consumers in the Constitution State.”
The Connecticut Lottery Corp. will launch sports betting with Rush Street Interactive, which operates SugarHouse Sportsbook and BetRivers Sportsbook, but is likely to use SugarHouse in Connecticut.
Online casinos, which have also been legalized in Connecticut, will likely take a little longer to go live. DraftKings Casino and FanDuel Casino will be available to Connecticut players in addition to the retail and online 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.