After several years in the making, casinos in Connecticut have finally launched online sports betting. Starting yesterday at 3 pm, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods opened their online platforms to 750 players for a soft launch.
Mohegan Tribe is partnering with FanDuel to offer online casino and sports betting, while Foxwoods is partnering with DraftKings.
The tribal operators are likely to dominate the market. But, the other operator, Connecticut Lottery Corporation, that offers sports wagering on Rush Street Interactive PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook Connecticut, will also get a share of the market. Moreover, the Lottery Corp. will offer keno and digital lottery, including selling draw tickets.
What to Expect During the Soft Launch
Last Friday, the Department of Consumer Protection announced that the three gaming operators in Connecticut would begin with a soft launch for online betting programs. This is a seven-day program whose completion will usher in statewide online gaming.
During the soft launch period, several restrictions will be in place. Apart from being open to 750 players, customers will be allowed to bet during specific hours.
This includes betting between 3 pm and 11 pm on Tuesday and Wednesday and from noon to 11.59 pm on Thursday and Friday. After that, the program will go for 24 hours for the remaining period of the program.
During this launch, the gaming regulators and operators will ensure every operation is running smoothly. For example, they have to make sure that only players in Connecticut are accessing the online platforms. Also, they must verify those playing are of legal age.
According to the Department of Consumer Protection, the tribes and Connecticut Lottery Corporation will offer online casino gaming and sports betting approved for the soft launch. Ideally, there will be less than 100 games to play during this period.
But, the launch does not include peer-to-peer online casino games and live dealer games. This is because these use another technology that may require more testing.
Peer-to-peer is usually referring to online poker. But, it is not yet clear if the two tribes will offer poker games. These games are now legal in Connecticut, but neither tribe seems to be ready to offer online poker games.
“We Have Made It to the Finish Line”
It has taken several years of dialogs between the previous Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the current Governor Ned Lamont with Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts casinos about online gambling.
After launching online sports betting and iGaming, Rodney Butley could not hide his excitement, saying they finally made it to the finish line. Rodney is the chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, owner of the Foxwoods casino. Rodney noted the great implementation from the legislative levels in spring to the actualization of online gaming this fall.
Online gaming will help return glory to the two tribal casinos. With gambling expansion in Massachusetts and other neighboring countries, the casinos business in Connecticut was depreciating.
Already, the tribal casinos were paying 25 percent revenue to Connecticut from slots’ income. If the soft online launch goes without a hitch, statewide online gaming will begin on October 19, 2021.
Then, these casinos will pay 18 percent on online casinos and 13.75 percent revenue tax for sports betting.
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