Connecticut is on the verge of having legal and regulated online and retail sports betting within its borders. After passing through the state Senate and House, the bill to legalize sports betting landed on Governor Ned Lamont’s desk and was signed into law in late May 2021. There are several hurdles left before the first bets are placed in the state of CT, but we are closer than ever. All Connecticut gambling must go through one of the state’s tribes, which can often complicate things as all new compacts between the state and tribes must be approved by the federal government. The signs are promising though, and it seems the long wait for Connecticut sports betting is nearly over.
While it is a small state (48th of 50!) per land mass, Connecticut measures up well on the population spectrum (29/50) and will prove a valuable sports betting commodity. This page will cover the legislative process and much more, including what online sportsbooks will be coming to Connecticut, where you can place legal bets in-person, and most importantly when the first bets can be placed.
CT Sportsbook Alternatives: Over/Under Player Props
Connecticut sports betting timeline
There is a lot to be excited about for Connecticut sports fans. Governor Lamont signed the state’s bill into law that will not only legalize retail and online sports betting, but also Daily Fantasy Sports and online casinos. Before any slots are spun, parlays placed, or aces are split, there are a lot of moving parts that have to be tended to.
The first issue standing in the way of sports betting going live is that there needs to be federal approval of the new pact between the state and the tribes. The new agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, who currently control all the casino gambling in the state, would allow sports betting both in their casinos and online. It was finalized back in March 2021, but any compacts between tribes and the state do need the stamp of approval from the Department of the Interior. There are no projected issues with the terms of the agreement, but it does take some time. Even without red flags it can take a few months.
The state also needs to hammer out the details of the tax rate, fees, testing procedures, and more, before the first bets can go through. Currently, the tax rate sits at 18% for bets placed online and 13.75% for bets placed in-person. Proceeds will go to a college fund to allow students to attend Community College for free, and also to fund some smaller municipalities in the state. Every aspect of the online sportsbooks must be thoroughly tested as well to ensure that your money stays safe, betting lines are fair, and your account information is kept secure.
The state of Connecticut seems motivated to get online as soon as possible, but these things take time. The earliest we could see the newly minted Connecticut online sports betting market to go live would be Fall 2021, with a more realistic timeline of early 2022.
Who is eligible for an online sportsbook account in Connecticut?
When online sports betting goes live in Connecticut, there are a few stipulations that you must consider when opening an account. These include:
- Age: You must be at least 21 years of age in order to open a legal and regulated online sportsbook account in Connecticut.
- Location: You do not need to be a resident of Connecticut, but to place bets you must be physically located in the state. You can open your account, make your first deposit from anywhere, but in order to place a bet, you must be inside state lines.
- Restriction lists: Whether self-imposed or mandated by a casino or by the state, you cannot be on any restricted lists. If you are, you will not be eligible to take part in betting in Connecticut.
Sportsbooks coming soon to Connecticut
In order to offer online or retail sports betting in Connecticut, you have to be partnered with an established retail casino or with the Connecticut lottery. Seeing as there are only two casino brands and one lottery available for licenses, the sports betting market will not be huge in CT, but you will have access to two of the top online sportsbooks in the US market.
All retail gambling in the state must go through one of the state’s two tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot or the Mohegan. So, lets take a look at who they are, and what partnerships they have formed for online gaming.
Mashantucket Pequot forms Partnership with DraftKings
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe owns and operates Foxwoods, one of the premier destinations for any gambler throughout the world. An easy drive from Boston or New York City, Foxwoods Resort Casino boasts over 344,000 square feet of gaming space, over 250 gaming tables, 5,500 slots, and a legendary poker room. If you are planning a trip to Foxwoods, you won’t have any trouble finding a room as there are over 2200+ available, nearly 20 restaurants, and plenty of other attractions like the go-karts, zipline, and more. There is no shortage of entertainment at Foxwoods.
Their new partner, DraftKings, was founded in 2012 in Boston Massachusetts as a DFS contest provider but has blossomed into one of the leading online sportsbooks in the US market. They’ve also expanded to include online casino to their growing repertoire, which will also factor in Connecticut. DraftKings was the first legal sportsbook in the US when they went live in New Jersey back in May 2018. Since then, DraftKings has expanded their reach throughout the country and are live in around a dozen states. They are always a threat to be the top earner in every state they enter. They succeed by offering a stacked promotional schedule, competitive lines, an easy to use desktop and mobile sports betting interface, and some of the best customer service out there.
In December of 2020, before the bill to legalize online sports betting was even considered in Connecticut, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe announced their partnership with DraftKings to offer retail sports betting, online sports betting, and daily fantasy sports in the Nutmeg State. DraftKings has found their way into just about every legal US market, including a monopoly in neighboring New Hampshire. This partnership is particularly important for DraftKings as the new laws require all DFS providers, their bread and butter, to be licensed in a similar fashion. Without this Foxwoods deal, they would be out of luck for CT DFS.
DraftKings will also be the sports betting provider for the retail sportsbook at Foxwoods, and be their iGaming platform when everything goes live in late 2021/early 2022. The all-inclusive package paved the way for online slots and table games, so you will be able to play all of your favorite DraftKings casino titles right from the comfort of your own home once the market launches.
Mohegan Tribe Partners with FanDuel
The Mohegan Sun Casino is a must see for any gambler that finds themselves in the northeastern US, and has many similarities to Foxwoods. Mohegan Sun just edges out Foxwoods in square feet of gaming space measuring out at 364,000 sq ft. To put that into perspective, the gaming space is nearly triple that of the famous Bellagio in Las Vegas. Mohegan Sun features 6500 slot machines, 375+ table games, a quality poker room, a racebook, and is soon to be home to a FanDuel retail sportsbook. Mohegan Sun also features a 1500 room hotel, a large variety of restaurants and shopping options, and is home to the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun Arena.
The similarities continue when we talk about their new gaming partner, FanDuel. FanDuel also got their start in the DFS realm, and have converted well over to sports betting, both online and retail. A persistent rival of DraftKings, FanDuel is live in every state that DraftKings is (with a few small exceptions), and is also always one of the top operators in every market they enter. FanDuel consistently offers a very generous promotions lineup, lightning quick banking, great customer service, industry leading mobile and desktop service, and some of the most competitive lines in the industry.
It was thought that Unibet would be Mohegan Sun’s partner when it came to Connecticut, as they are partnered in Pennsylvania and Mohegan Sun signed a deal with Kambi, but it was announced in early July 2021 that FanDuel would be Mohegan Sun’s operator for DFS, sports betting and iGaming. FanDuel not only gets entry into the CT sports betting market, but also retains their rights to offer DFS, stifling DraftKings attempt for a monopoly in the market.
The Connecticut Lottery is the only non-tribal entity that will gain access to the Connecticut sports betting market. Not only will the lottery be able to offer online sports betting, but the law allows for 15 remote betting locations, that could come in the form of betting kiosks at specified locations or at OTB betting locations. The only remaining mystery to the lottery’s involvement is who they will partner with to run their online and retail sports betting. There is a deal in place with Scientific Gaming, but as we have seen with Mohegan Sun’s deal with Kambi, no deal is sacred until there is an actual launch.
We can take our best guess as to who the Lottery will pair with from who the other big names are in the US market. Our best guess would be BetMGM as they are attempting to build a resort casino in Bridgeport, CT. This would either allow them to gain access on their own, or by partnering with the lottery. Online sportsbooks such as WynnBet, Fox Bet, Caesars Sportsbook, and PointsBet have all invested heavily in the US market, so it would not come as a surprise to see any of these top brands make their move to enter a small, but low competition market. Only time will tell and be sure to check back with USBets for all the up to date information.
Connecticut sports betting bonuses
Much like other states with access to regulated wagering, there will be sports betting bonuses up for grabs in the state of Connecticut. DraftKings, FanDuel, and the third lottery-operated sportsbook will each bring a welcome offer to the table that’s meant to win your business. Generally speaking the more sportsbooks there are in a state, the better the offers have to be. With lots of competition, your bonus needs to stand out, right? While Connecticut won’t be the most expansive market, it’s far from a monopoly. The sportsbooks that do enter the state will come ready to play. Expect to see many of the following welcome offers and recurring promotions offered:
- Free money offers
- Free bets
- Risk-free bets
- deposit match bonuses
- odds boosts
Some promotions will be available for everyone, while other welcome packages will require an exclusive Connecticut sports betting promo code. While we don’t have promo codes yet, as the market hasn’t launched yet, we will. Stay tuned.
Connecticut banking options
The days of betting with offshore online sites, and never knowing when or if your withdrawals are going to hit your bank account, are soon coming to an end. Once the CT online sportsbook market goes live, all of the options for both deposits and withdrawals will be thoroughly vetted and will only be included once they are deemed safe, secure and fast. You will have access to many familiar financial tools that you use every day and all transactions are quick and safe. The amount of options will vary by site, but the most popular methods include:
- PayPal: Whether you opened an account to make purchases on Ebay, or to send money to friends and family, almost everyone already has a PayPal account. You can link your bank account or credit card and make instant deposits and quick withdrawals using the same eWallet account.
- Credit/Debit Cards: The most popular credit/debit cards accepted at online sportsbooks are Visa and MasterCard, with Discover and American Express occasionally being accepted. This is a deposit only option (for now) so you will need another method for withdrawals.
- Online Banking: The same service that you use for paying bills online now can act as your online sportsbook cashier. Link your bank account by signing into your online banking, and easily transfer funds in and out of your favorite sportsbook.
- PayNearMe: This deposit only cash options will generate a barcode directly in the cashier, and you can take that barcode to any 7-11, CVS or Family Dollar along with cash. The cashier will scan the barcode, you hand over the cash, and the funds will be ready within 15 minutes for use online.
- Cash at the Casino Cage: Bring your photo ID and cash to the associated retail casino and you can make easy cash deposits. The same method can be used for withdrawals, but be sure to wait until the withdrawal is approved before heading over to the cage.
- Play+: A site-specific prepaid card that you can link your bank account or credit card to start right away. You can sign up for the card directly in the cashier, and the physical card will arrive within two weeks to your registered address. This card can withdraw funds at any ATM or be used as a credit card anywhere Discover is accepted.
Connecticut Online Sports Betting Options
There are not many restrictions in the new laws as far as what is off limits, and Connecticut should have all the most popular betting options such as moneyline, spreads, and parlays, along with some more innovative betting picks such as alternative spreads, totals, and of course ingame betting. Ingame betting gives users an experience that they have never seen before. Just because the game started, doesn’t mean the betting stops. Ingame betting gives you the option to bet all your favorite markets with constantly updating lines based on the action on the field.
Popular betting options include, but are not limited to:
- Totals (O/U)
- Ingame betting / live betting
When it comes to what sports are available, there are your popular leagues such as NFL Football, MLB Baseball, College sports, and more all the way down to some of your more niche sports like table tennis and cricket. Some examples include
- College Sports
What about responsible gaming?
In order to be approved for an online gaming license of any sort, online sportsbooks, casinos and DFS operators need to prove that they have safeguards in place to help problem gamblers. Online sports betting is meant to be a form of entertainment, but when it stops being fun, you can count on these sites to offer you several ways to help. This includes deposit limits, cool off periods, time limits, and betting limits. You can also easily close your account and restrict yourself from playing whenever you choose. Any online sportsbook can point bettors in the right direction for responsible gaming resources.