Connecticut General Assembly Approves Push For Expanded Gambling
Connecticut’s gambling industry has struggled in recent years due to on-going tensions between the state government and the two tribal casino operators in the state which are the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
The two tribal operators have an exclusive compact with the state to offer casino style gambling at the tribal casinos. Connecticut has tried in the past to set up a new non-tribal casino and push for sports betting but those efforts have been met with stiff resistance from the two tribes.
It looks like things are finally moving forward in Connecticut as the state government and the tribal operators appear to be on the same page for now. The General Assembly in Connecticut recently approved bills that is calling for expanded gambling in the state. The General Assembly approved the push for legalizing sports betting, online wagers and developing a new casino in Bridgeport.
The legislation calling for the legalizing of sports betting, online wagering and the new Bridgeport casino has been processed under four bills. Some of the language outlined in these four bills calls for a tribal operated casino in Bridgeport, online casino games, sports betting wagers and lottery games. All of these options will be offered via online and mobile gaming.
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Only those physically present within the boundaries of Connecticut will be allowed to place retail and online bets. Bettors will need to be over the age of 21 to access online gaming and sports betting services. No coaches or players will be allowed to place bets on the outcome of games that they are taking part in.
Expanded Gambling Opposed By Some
While the key stakeholders in Connecticut are finally on the same page, there are still quite a few opponents of expanded gambling in the state. Rep. Craig Fishbein opposed the expanded gambling legislation claiming that it was one sided in favour of the tribal casino operators and the state lottery.
Fishbein said that if and when Connecticut legislates sports betting, it must open it up to all operators involved and not restrict it only to the tribal casino operators. Fishbein went on to say that commercial casino operators must be given the opportunity to also apply for opportunity to develop the Bridgeport casino. He said that the current expanded gambling bill, opens Connecticut up to the possibility of lawsuits from commercial casinos.