onnecticut’s launch of sports gambling for the football season is moving forward as the Connecticut Lottery Corp. is in final negotiations with a vendor to run the operation.
At least four vendors were finalists for the sports-wagering operation, according to the lottery board minutes of earlier this month, as reported by CT Insider. The new market launch still needs approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, and completion of state rule-making.
Both tribal casinos in the state have already teamed up with fantasy sports giants. Foxwoods partnered with DraftKings, and Mohegan Sun partnered with FanDuel. CT Lottery is not allowed to use any of the casino brands. 15 vendors submitted requests for qualifications, and the list was whittled down to seven in a request for proposal. All were asked for the best and final offers and after a week of clarifying questions, all were asked to resubmit plans, News 8 reports.
One operator was reportedly chosen but has not yet been named publicly because final negotiations are still underway, however, the winning contractor could be announced within weeks for the sports-betting portion of the state’s new wagering programs, which also include online casino gambling and internet lottery games.
Under the gaming law adopted by the General Assembly and signed by Gov. Ned Lamont, the lottery corporation has the right to operate internet-based lottery games and as many as 15 sports betting locations including in Hartford and Bridgeport.
The Director of Public Relations and Social Media for the Lottery Corporation Tara Chozet, said: “The governor charged everyone involved to do their best to get it up in time for football season. We’re pretty optimistic, but we’re doing everything we can to meet that timeline,” reports CT Insider.
According to the General Assembly’s nonpartisan Office of Fiscal Analysis, sports betting alone is projected to raise $19.3 million in state revenue during the budget year that started July 1, and nearly $25 million a year by June 30, 2026.
State Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, whose district includes the two tribal casinos, led the passage of the bill in the Senate. She said on Thursday that she expects the vendor to be announced very soon and that temporary regulations have been drafted by the state Department of Consumer Protection for review by Gov. Ned Lamont, and a vote will be held in the General Assembly Regulation Review Committee in August.
“I have not seen them as yet, and I have reminded people that there are a couple of steps that have to happen including that the tribal nations should see the rules and regulations, which also have to be reviewed by the legislative attorneys,” Osten said, “Things are moving along, but they need to be approved and voted on in August."
The lottery is also planning to issue requests for bids to create the online components, including computer applications and ancillary services. Online lottery draw games are projected to generate $2 million in tax revenue in the current state budget year and $19 million by the end of June 2026. Online keno could bring the state $2 million a year by then.
It’s all part of a deal that includes sports betting at the state’s two tribal casinos and satellite locations throughout the state.
Online casino gambling is estimated to bring in $8.6 million in the current fiscal year, growing to more than $28 million by June 30, 2026.