onnecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner Jr. announced on Monday they have reached an agreement for the state that would allow sports wagering and online gaming.
The agreement also will include the Connecticut Lottery Corporation as a partner in an effort to modernize CT's gaming landscape, as reported by FOX 61. The Governor's office said this agreement will generate tens of millions of dollars in revenue for Connecticut and keep the state competitive with the game changes currently offered in other states.
The agreement includes a 20 percent tax rate on new online gaming offerings; a 13.75 percent tax rate on sports wagering; and Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to operate 15 retail sports betting locations, as well as operate an online sports betting skin.
Also, Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to sub-license some of those locations to the state-licensed pari-mutuel operator, and it will undertake new retail sports betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport. The license agreement will be for ten years with a five-year extension option.
Sportech, the pari-mutuel operator that would be sublicensed by the Connecticut Lottery Corp., to operate several retail sports betting sites, said it will sue because the agreement “principally excludes” it from expanded gaming.
“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming,” Governor Lamont said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut.”
“The Mohegan Tribe is proud to have reached this agreement with Governor Lamont and the State of Connecticut,” Chairman Gessner said. “This path will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, and help keep Connecticut with those states when it comes to growing our economy and benefiting the state budget. We’re thankful to Governor Lamont and his team, and we look forward to continued work with the General Assembly as this process continues.”
The deal does not include the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. During a public hearing on Tuesday morning, Rodney Butler, the Chair of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, told lawmakers that while they're also close to agreeing to the terms, they weren't there just yet. He said for them, it comes down to fairness and equality when dealing with revenue sharing with the state.
Following the agreement, Butler released a statement saying: "After months of closed-door negotiations, it's offensive that Governor Lamont would announce an agreement with only one of the two Tribal Nations that have been a party to the negotiations, despite full knowledge that both sovereign Nations are needed to implement any agreement. We have participated in these discussions in good faith and consider today’s events extremely disrespectful in terms of process and substance. Now that the Governor Lamont has laid bare the confidential terms of our negotiations, you can see the significant and substantial concessions made by both Tribes. Just permitting Lottery to participate in full sports betting, absent tax or revenue share, is a major allowance. We have one remaining point of contention that is easily resolved if some sense of mutual respect is afforded for the specific needs of our tribal community. We remain open to discussions and hope this is resolved quickly for the benefit of the entire state of Connecticut.”