Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont provided a pre-recorded address this week to residents of the state, providing insight into the upcoming budget plan. The governor is hopeful that the state will legalize sports betting and online casino gaming to bring in new revenues. Lamont pointed out that neighboring states are moving forward with such options and Connecticut does not need to fall behind and watch as other states benefit from their own inaction.
Working with Tribal Leaders
In his speech, Lamont said that his administration is working with tribal leaders of the Mohegan Casino and Foxwoods regarding online gaming and sports betting. Talks are focusing on if the tribal operators have exclusive rights to the new options or if other operators can get in on the action as well.
The governor has submitted legislation for consideration that shows what he feels will be the best ending to the stalemate of inaction that will be of benefit to the state. Online gambling has increased over the past year due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Traditional casinos are either shut down or operating at lower capacities, with players fearful of traveling outside the home due to the threat of the virus.
Because players are staying at home, they are logging in to online casino sites when it is available. Consumers are drawn to such games and Connecticut would be able to instantly benefit from legalizing online casinos and sports betting.
The governor feels that a state gambling expansion will bring just over $47 million in the second year of the budget. This new source of revenues would certainly help to increase operating funds of the state. It will be interesting to see how lawmakers feel about the proposals and if legislation will be able to gain any ground in the coming weeks.