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Sports Betting on the way in Connecticut

After the US Supreme Court agreed to take up the New Jersey sports betting case, the possibility of Connecticut offering sports gambling rose. And now, Governor Dannel Malloy has signed a piece of legislation this week (H 6948) that features provisions to allow the state to move forward on sports betting regulation. The state legislature had previously passed the bill in early June, which was part of a larger package that included the authorization for a new casino in the state . The part about sports betting states the following:

The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to regulate wagering on sporting events to the extent permitted by state and federal law.”

This sports betting provision was thrown in last minute after the revelation that New Jersey might have a chance to win in the Supreme Court case. Connecticut held hearings and received testimonies from a variety of stakeholders, including representatives from leagues such as the NBA and MLB.

In order to actually offer legal sports betting, these are the steps that would need to happen:

  • SCOTUS would have to strike down the law that bans sports betting outside of Nevada, in the NJ case. (Congress would have to repeal or amend PASPA)
  • Connecticut would also need to repeal its existing ban on sports betting
  • The Department of Consumer Protection would have to promulgate regulations

Connecticut is now one of the many states starting to get rolling on sports betting, joining New Jersey and Mississippi. It would be smart for states to get ready for when sports betting should get legalized at the state level, if they want to have legal wagering. Being one of the first states to move on this would be very wise, especially in states in the Northeast where there are plenty of casinos.