No Online Sports Betting in Connecticut before 2021 NFL Opener
The online sports betting scene in The State of Connecticut is not likely to launch prior to the 2021 NFL season opener. Officials are on course for a fall live launch date, but this will not allow residents of the state to enjoy wagering on the first games of this year’s NFL. At least, not through the internet.
It is thought that sports betting could launch within land-based casino establishments beforehand. Both DraftKings and FanDuel are partnered with tribal casinos – those owned by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes – which are still waiting to be approved for such activity. It could take up until Thursday, September 9, for a decision to be made – this operates as the cut-off date for the decision by the Department of the Interior. It is also the date on which the NFL’s 2021 season opening game takes place. That will see the Dallas Cowboys face off against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Going by the assumption that there is federal approval for the updated tribal compact that permits retail sports betting in their casinos, then such could be active within the Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun locations shortly after that date. A formal sportsbook launch date cannot yet be confirmed until the decision is made on the compact by the Department of the Interior.
Connecticut also has the potential to introduce up to 10 more retail sports betting establishments to residents later on in the year.
However, this does little for the online sports betting scene. The two tribal online sportsbooks, as well as a third offered by a unison between an operator and the state lottery, are waiting to be approved. This is set to be considered at the meeting being held on August 31. Even if approval is gained by all three sportsbooks at this meeting, the operators have to pass state licensing protocol, and that isn’t a swift process. The launch of online sports betting could therefore take multiple additional weeks.
According to Mohegan Gaming CEO Ray Pineault, Connecticut officials may also have a requirement that each of the online sportsbooks earn certain certifications from Gaming Laboratories International. This could extend the waiting time by another two to six weeks on top, too.