Sports betting is a hot topic of discussion in the United States. The US Supreme Court is currently preparing to rule in the Christie vs. NCAA case, which could see sports betting no longer banned across the nation. If the court rules in favor of New Jersey, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act will be deemed unconstitutional and will see states allowed to offer real money sports betting gambling. Several states are looking to get in on the sports betting action, including Connecticut.
This week, the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee held a public hearing on their new sports betting bill. During the hearing, the Connecticut Lottery Corporation announced they are ready to operate within the new industry. Steve Wagner, the director of IT, stated to the committee that S 540 is a bill that the lottery supports.
Wagner along with other representatives from the lottery stated that the group is prepared as well as suited to offer the new gaming option. Wagner stated that the lottery ahs a long history of providing adults with a wide array of gaming in the state and sports betting would be just another option they could provide gamers.
With the bill, the wagering option would also be offered via casinos, off-track betting facilities and horse racing tracks. The bill also includes provisions for online lottery sales, plus mobile and internet wagering. The lottery is particularly intrigued by the online elements.
Support has been seen for the new bill, and it follows a blueprint as seen in other states like Kansas and New York. The bill does include an integrity fee, which has been requested by professional sports leagues like the National Basketball Association and the MLB. However, the size of the fee is not a high percentage.
One point of contention is the tribes of the state. Connecticut is home to two gaming tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegans. The tribes are in favor of sports betting but not this particular bill. This could prove to be a stopping point for the legislation as it moves forward.