Connecticut Sports Betting Expands With First Commercial Retail Sportsbook

Connecticut sports betting commenced at the state’s two tribal casinos on Sept. 30. The Connecticut Lottery and its sportsbook partner Rush Street Interactive (RSI) opened up their retail wagering today, October 25.

Connecticut sports betting Rush Street
Connecticut sports betting Rush Street
A sign promoting sports betting is seen outside the Sports Haven bar and grill in New Haven, Ct. Retail sports betting is being operated throughout Connecticut by Rush Street Interactive. (Image: NBC Connecticut)

Connecticut expanded gaming earlier this year by way of legislation that amended the state’s two tribal gaming compacts with the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. The tribes are allowed to conduct in-person and mobile sports betting, plus online slots and table games.

The legislative package afforded the state-owned lottery to also get in on sports betting, but not iGaming. The CT Lottery and RSI can operate mobile sports betting and in-person sports betting at up to 15 retail locations.

The first retail site opened this morning at the Winners Sports Haven restaurant and lounge in New Haven. Additional RSI-operated sportsbooks will open in the coming days at Bobby V’s restaurants in Windsor Locks and Stamford.

“This has been a long time coming for Connecticut players, and we’re honored to be the only statewide retail operator,” said Greg Smith, president and CEO of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.

RSI is utilizing its PlaySugarHouse interactive platform for its retail and online sports betting operations in Connecticut.

Retail Monopoly

Connecticut’s tribal resorts — Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods — have respectively teamed with FanDuel and DraftKings for their sports betting and iGaming operations. While Connecticut residents can access the interactive gambling platforms from anywhere inside the state borders, they won’t come across a FanDuel or DraftKings brick-and-mortar sportsbook outside of the two tribal casino resorts.

In-person sports betting off sovereign land is reserved for the Connecticut Lottery. The lottery and RSI are working with Connecticut-based Sportech Venues to bring sportsbooks to several of the company’s Bobby V’s and Winners restaurants and sports pubs.

Together with our partners Rush Street Interactive and Sportech Venues, we can offer bettors world-class, in-person sportsbooks at accessible locations throughout the state and mobile sports betting under the PlaySugarHouse brand,” Smith added.

The goal, lottery and RSI officials say, is to provide people in Connecticut with a legal brick-and-mortar sportsbook within a 30-minute drive.

Along with the three announced retail PlaySugarHouse sportsbooks, brick-and-mortar sports betting facilities are expected to open at seven additional Sportech locations by the end of November. PlaySugarHouse retail venues are in the works in Hartford, Manchester, Waterbury, Torrington, New Britain, Milford, and Norwalk.

State of Sports Betting States

With retail sports betting, both commercial and tribal, now underway in Connecticut, people in 26 states, plus the District of Columbia, can place a legal sports bet. Five other states have legalized sports gambling, but are in the process of finalizing their governing conditions.

State finance projections believe legal sports betting in Connecticut will generate $19 million in new tax revenue in 2022 and $23 million in 2023.

RSI will share 13.75 percent of its gross gaming revenue from online and in-person sports betting with the state. In landing its operating agreement with the Connecticut Lottery, RSI pledged to direct a minimum of $170 million to the state over the next 10 years — or at least $17 million annually.

Terms of RSI’s operating agreement with Sportech Venues have not been disclosed.

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