Connecticut’s 2022 budget includes iGaming

Governor Lamont of Connecticut is moving forward with a proposal to legalize online casinos in the state.

Governor Lamont is moving forward on legalization for iGaming and sports betting in CT. 

The governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont, has presented his proposed budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year which includes steps towards legalizing online casinos in the state. 

The proposal would also legalize online sports betting and give the governor the power to amend or agree to new tribal gaming compacts. 

Tribal gaming compacts

Two native tribes in Connecticut hold exclusive rights to operate gaming, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe of Indians and the Mohegan Tribe.

The Mashantucket Pequot operates Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT, and the Mohegan Tribe running Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. 

Gov. Lamont’s budget proposal would include funding for these tribes to cover the costs of online casinos and sports betting, making both available throughout the state to all players. 

What benefits will the people of CT receive in this deal?

Early estimates indicate that the state could bring in around $47.3 million in revenue by 2023. 

Democratic lawmakers and Gov. Lamont wants to use this money towards expanding funding for college tuition aid. The majority of the new revenue generated from this proposal would be allocated to the state’s Pledge to Advance Connecticut (PACT) program.

State Senate President pro tempore Martin Looney (D-New Haven) stated, “The idea that we have to make it possible for lower-income people to navigate the higher education system by at the very least not going into debt when they go to community college is so important. Today, it is even more important to access higher education, because a high school diploma is so much more limited now than it was many years ago.” 

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) added, “Ensuring we have a well-educated workforce to meet the needs of the jobs of the 21st century and beyond is exactly why PACT is so important.” 

The proposal has the support of the iGaming industry

Howard Glaser, the global head of government affairs and special initiatives of Scientific Gaming, immediately released a statement supporting the decision to expand online betting and iGaming in CT. 

Glaser’s statement said, “Connecticut’s embrace of on-line gaming and lottery is a large step toward broader adoption of mobile gaming in the US. The pandemic is accelerating the trend to online play. If states with traditional casinos and lotteries approve on-line gaming, they would see over $4bn in new revenue, in addition to sports betting, at a time when statehouses are under tremendous pressure to find new revenue.”

It is true that since the pandemic began, the iGaming and online sports betting industries have seen massive growth while land-based casinos continue to be closed and/or are operating at limited capacity. Players who choose to play online do not have to worry about their safety while playing as they can do so from the convenience of their own homes. 

In 2020, New Jersey saw online casinos and poker rooms generate nearly $1 billion in total revenue. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania and West Virginia also saw record-breaking revenues being brought in during the same period. Michigan is projecting to duplicate New Jersey’s success in 2021. 

As states continue to seek out new sources of revenue, we can expect to see more moving towards legalizing online casinos and sports betting around the country. We will continue to monitor all states as these stories progress.

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