Federal approval for sports betting in two weeks


The chairman of one of the state’s two casino owners announced Tuesday that state approval for the new online gaming and sports market is pending in two weeks.

The statement by Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, came after a bipartisan legislative committee approved initial rules for the new marketplace.

In a post-vote statement, Butler said that within the next two weeks “action” is awaiting the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to sign a treaty between the state and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes that will allow the game to expand will .

“We understand that the state consumer protection department will issue master betting licenses after this approval,” said Butler. “As the start of the NFL season is fast approaching, we are working on launching online gaming and sports betting as soon as we legally allow it.”

Governor Ned Lamont issued a statement Tuesday saying the approval was “a significant step forward for Connecticut and our partners in this emerging market.”

The Bureau of Indian Affairs, part of the US Department of the Interior, does not comment on pending applications.

The General Assembly’s Rules and Regulations Review Committee, comprised of Democrats and Republicans, approved the 82 pages of rules in an online session by 9-4, with one Republican missing. All four no-votes came from Republicans.

Much of the comments during the roughly hour-long meeting came from Republicans who said the process was being speeded up to meet the start of the NFL season – Lamont’s informal deadline. They also raised concerns about problem gambling, including the fact that regulations do not prevent anyone from using a shared bank account to place bets, which could happen without the consent of the other person on the account.

“Nothing could be more discouraging and undermining trust than realizing that the nest egg or savings that one might rely on to pay the bills, let alone retirement, are gone pretty quickly because another person shares a common Account used for a gambling rampage, ”said Senator John Kissel, R-Enfield.

Kissel also asked why someone would have to use cash or a debit card to buy a lottery ticket at a retail store when people are allowed to use credit cards in sports betting and online gaming.

Senator Cathy Osten, the Sprague Democrat who was the main sponsor of the gambling legislation, said she believes the rules restrict the types of payment that can be used by disallowing mobile and online payment platforms like PayPal and Venmo.

Their positions underscore the difficult balance the Department of Consumer Protection had to find in developing regulations for the new industry, said Commissioner Michelle Seagull.

“For many consumers who only want to do this occasionally or for leisure, this could be a burden if they did not already have an individual bank account to participate. At the same time, I think people who have a significant problem will find ways to work around it, “Seagull said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Final rules must be presented within six months, said Senator James Maroney, the committee’s Democratic co-chair, adding that this process will require public hearings and could provide an opportunity to tweak the rules approved Tuesday.

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