Connecticut sports betting could be in play for NFL season

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Connecticut lawmakers could expedite sports betting legislation in order to get the market up and running for the start of the 2021 NFL season.

Despite only reaching an agreement with the state’s tribal gaming operators last week, Governor Ned Lamont and his advisors believe that Connecticut’s sports betting market could be open as soon as September.

Lamont and his chief of staff Paul Mounds spoke about the progress of legislation in optimistic tones during a Monday press conference, despitethere being  considerable hurdles yet to clear.

Frustratingly for lawmakers who are willing to expedite sports betting legislation, parts of the process lie outside of state lines.

Having agreed finer revenue details with both the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes – operators of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods (pictured) casinos respectively - the state will now have to review its current tribal compacts with the Department of the Interior.

“The wild card in the pack, of course, is how fast... the legislature gets their bill passed, but probably the one we have less control over is the Department of the Interior,” Lamont said. “I’d like to think we can expedite that.”

Legislative reviews normally take a year or more from start to finish, but the Governor’s office clearly believes this can be whittled down to just six months with the right impetus.

“By the time of the start of football season in the fall, we should be up and running here in Connecticut,” Mounds added.

Both of Connecticut’s gaming tribes already have sportsbook deals signed, and given its semi-centralizaion, the Connecticut Lottery Corp, one would assume, will not find a lack of suitors either.

The operational readiness of the state is of little doubt, and the recent appointment of Deb Haaland as Interior secretary should be cause for optimisim when it comes down to tribal compact brass tacks. It appears as though all the wheels are turning in unison in Connecticut, but even with this forward motion, six months to sports betting may still be a longshot.

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