Connecticut House approves several forms of gambling

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Two local Tribes now await action by state senate.

Connecticut’s State House of Representatives voted to approve a bill that authorizes sports wagering and online gambling.

The legislation now moves to the state’s Senate.

Earlier this year, Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont and Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes negotiated an amendment to their compacts allowing an expansion of gaming in the state, if the legislature approved.

Included in the bill is a provision for the Connecticut Lottery Corporation to offer both land-based and online sports betting.

Federal regulators still must give their green light.

The expansion of gaming has been in the works for years. One holdup was the tax rate, which ended up being adjusted by gaming type. Lawmakers made the tax 18% on gross revenue for the first five years, adjusting to 20% for the following five years, then a rate to be determined. The tax on sports wagering will be 13.75%.

Officials for the two Tribes issued statements welcoming the expansion of gaming.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, said, “For our Tribe, gaming is about much more than business. It is a means by which we rebuild our nation, educate our children, and take care of our elders. Passage of this legislation will enable us to do just that, and more, for generations to come.”

James Gessner Jr., chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, added the expansion will help Connecticut “keep pace with neighboring states, protect Connecticut jobs and generate tax revenues that benefit the state, municipalities and the tribes. This is not just a regional issue. It will have a statewide impact as Connecticut works to meet critical needs as it recovers from the pandemic.”

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