Southeastern Connecticut welcomes Thursday the initial phase of the state’s legalization of sports wagering. Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino are holding inaugural events, hosting Governor Ned Lamont, marking the opening of their on-site sportsbooks.
Both casinos announced Wednesday that they and their sports-betting partners, FanDuel and DraftKings, were launching their sportsbooks on Thursday. Mohegan Sun is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony at its temporary FanDuel Sportsbook location in the casino’s Bow & Arrow Sports Bar. A permanent site will open this winter in Mohegan Sun’s existing racebook.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe is beginning operations in Connecticut on September 30 as well, at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Players will be able to place bets at a temporary DraftKings Sportsbook that has been set up at the Ultimate Race Book in, in addition to betting kiosks located across the resort. The sportsbook will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
In coming weeks, Foxwoods will announce the opening of a permanent location, which is in the final stages of construction.
Statewide, off-reservation online sports betting and iGaming is expected to launch in early October, pending regulatory approvals.
The Mohegan casino noted Thursday’s launch of retail sports wagering in the state comes in time for Week 4 of the National Football League season, which features Sunday night’s game between quarterback Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the defending Super Bowl champions, and Brady’s former team the New England Patriots.
In an official press release by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Chairman Rodney Butler said: “We thank Governor Lamon and his administration, regulators and the many lawmakers who helped pave the way for legal sports betting and expanded gaming in the state”, he expressed. “With NFL season in full force, it’s game on, and we look forward to a successful launch”.
We are so excited that sports betting has finally come to Connecticut. Thank you to all who came out to the ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning, the teams who made this possible, and to @GovNedLamont who placed his first bet on @ConnecticutSun! ☀️☀ pic.twitter.com/3XiBVu2AO3— Mohegan Sun ☀️ (@MoheganSun) September 30, 2021
Matt Kalish, co-founder and President of DraftKings North America, added: “We’re thrilled to join the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in bringing a holistic and delightful sports betting experience for customers in Connecticut. By leveraging the Tribe’s expertise in developing and operating one of the largest resort casinos in the world, we are excited to bring new offerings for consumers”.
In a coincidence of scheduling, bettors Thursday also will be able to bet on Thursday night’s Women’s National Basketball Association playoff game between the Connecticut Sun and the Chicago Sky, which is being played in Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, lost the first game of the best-of-five semifinal series with the Sky on Tuesday night, falling in double overtime.
In New England, Rhode Island introduced sports betting in November 2018 and New Hampshire followed suit at the end of 2019. Connecticut’s Governor Lamont signed a gaming-expansion bill into law this spring authorizing the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes and the Connecticut Lottery Corp. to provide retail and online sports betting.
State officials announced earlier that online sports betting will launch Oct. 7 on platforms operated by the tribes and the Connecticut Lottery Corp., which also will operate 10 retail sports-betting locations in northern and western Connecticut. The lottery has been authorized to operate up to 15 retail locations.