"This is a landmark deal in collaboration with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation as well as a critical next step to bringing America’s top-rated sportsbook app to sports fans in Connecticut," said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of DraftKings North America.
The agreement between the sports betting company and Foxwoods Resort Casin sets the stage to deliver access to online sports betting, though it still is subject to legislative and regulatory approvals, WFSB reports.
"The national expansion of regulated sports betting is among our top strategic priorities. DraftKings today is live with mobile sports betting in 10 states, more than any other operator in the U.S., and teaming up with the tribe will allow us to extend our reach even further." Kalish added.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, which owns and operates Foxwoods, said the agreement reinforces its position as a leader in the gaming industry.
"We’ve proven our ability to shape the future of gaming time and time again, and now we’re ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut," said Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. "Working through the tribal gaming compacts, we will help bolster our economy with much-needed revenue and virtual entertainment."
DraftKings will also become Foxwoods’ first-ever daily fantasy sports partner, when launched on Dec. 13, 2020, offering online promotions, contests and other integrated digital experiences.
Under longstanding agreements with Connecticut, in exchange for 25 percent of their slot revenue, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes maintain the exclusive rights to operate gaming within Connecticut’s borders — an arrangement that has generated over $8 billion in revenue for the state since its inception.
Online gaming and sports betting are projected to generate $175 million in new revenue for the state over five years.
According to Rep. Sean Scanlon, incoming House chairman of the legislature’s finance committee, sports betting in Connecticut will be legalized in 2021.
"You can bet on it," he said. "It’s one of my biggest priorities."
Gov. Ned Lamont and the legislature, irked that neighboring states are capitalizing on lucrative sports betting, have unsuccessfully sought to draft legislation permitting sports betting and making other changes in Connecticut’s gambling law. Each attempt has run aground on the state’s compacts with Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun.
The tribal owners of the casinos insist they have exclusive gambling rights, drawing threats of lawsuits by commercial sports betting sites that will not accept being shut out of competition for Connecticut’s market.
Lamont said he will introduce legislation on expanded gambling after negotiating with the casino’s tribal owners.
“I want to put forward something that works, that doesn’t result in litigation, that gets us off the dime,” he told reporters at his regular briefing on the coronavirus. “We’ve been talking about this for close to a decade in this state. And I think Connecticut ought to participate and it ought to be led by the tribes.”
The governor would not say whether his legislation would give the tribes rights to online gambling while sharing sports betting with other operators.