XL Center and Connecticut Lottery open sportsbook

September 20, 2023

Connecticut Lottery, authorized to open up to 15 sportsbooks, is still in search of a sports betting partner.

The XL Center held a ribbon cutting for its new XL Sports Bar and Sportsbook this week, in partnership with Connecticut (CT) Lottery. The city of Hartford hopes to partner with CT Lottery in future in the surrounding area and feels the sportsbook will boost visitors.

The grand opening of the venue took place during Monday Night Football, and occurred after a ‘soft launch.’ The 90-seat sportsbook has a 300-person capacity and includes a restaurant, bar and betting terminals.

The sportsbook will be open daily, regardless of whether an event is taking place at the XL Center. Those attending events in future can access the XL Center via the restaurant, but will need tickets to enter the arena.

The XL Center’s appearance and attendance have been in discussion by Connecticut lawmakers and politicians. Mayor Luke Bronin said of the area before the sportsbook, “This whole side of the building was a bunker of concrete and steel that blocked off access to the street.” To Bronin, this addition to the XL Center is an improvement that he hopes will encourage other local businesses to spring up.

Democratic Speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives, Matt Ritter said “probably two more exciting announcements” are in store regarding the XL Center’s development. In a press conference he said, “Why can’t we make this place the nicest arena in Connecticut, where families will want to go?”

CT Lottery is currently authorized to open up to 15 sportsbooks in the state, in addition to the two Tribal casinos in Connecticut, which each operate their own sportsbooks. Mohegan Sun partners with FanDuel for its sports wagering, while Foxwoods Resort Casino partners with DraftKings.

The lottery is, however, in need of a new sports betting partner after Rush Street Interactive (RSI) ended a previously agreed 10-year contract agreement that began in 2021 after only 18 months in March this year. CT Lottery is in negations with both RSI and a potential new (and unnamed) partner.

CT Lottery President and CEO Greg Smith said the lottery is “actively working” on finding locations for the remaining permitted sportsbooks, and is “quite hopeful” that a new sports betting partnership agreement “happens during the football season.”


Product Spotlight

Bragg Gaming Group

Bragg Gaming Group is a global content-driven iGaming technology provider, serving online and land-based gaming operators with its proprietary and exclusive content and cutting-edge technology.

John Connelly - Interblock preparing to launch online by the end of year

John Connelly, the Global CEO of Interblock, joins the Huddle to talk about:
- The company's conversion to the online space
- The performance of ETGs
- Interblock's new philanthropic efforts
- The trend of companies going private
- And more!

Michael Hershman - Dispelling casino 'myths:' New York needs to lose fear of the unknown

Michael Hershman, CEO of the Soloviev Group, joins Tim Poole on the Huddle to put forward his case that the Freedom Plaza is the way to go for one of New York's casino licences. He fields a variety of questions - not shying away from any of them - on why 'myths' about casinos and a fear of the unknown should be dispelled, as well as acknowledging the strength of rival bids and discussing opposition to the project.

As the Tribal gaming sector congregates once more in the Golden State, is it too cliché of me to suggest we are heading for a golden era of Tribal gaming? With the industry set to meet at the Indian Gaming Association t...

From The Top: Will youth be served by Sports Betting?
Two recent interviews in our Huddle podcast revealed to Las Vegas correspondent Brian Joseph just how young sports betting entrepreneurs are becoming.
The Global Gaming Awards: Rewarding Excellence
The 10th edition of the Global Gaming Awards took place in Las Vegas last year. Gaming America looks back... and ahead to this year's.
Preview: Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention
Gaming America looks ahead to the 2024 Indian Gaming Tradeshow & Convention and what attendees can expect when they arrive at the Anaheim Convention Centre.
888 and the US Market: A cautionary tale
Gaming America explores the risk of resting on your laurels and the challenge of remaining relevant in a rapidly expanding market.