West Hartford State Senator Derek Slap was one of six Senators who voted against the bill.
From Christine Stuart,CTNewsJunkie.com
Ronni Newton, We-Ha.com, contributed to this report
It’s possible Connecticut residents can place a bet on their phones by Labor Day, but the measures the Senate took Tuesday won’t be the last stop on a proposal to expand Connecticut gambling.
The Senate passed Law 28 to 6.
Governor Ned Lamont, who negotiated the agreement with the two recognized tribal nations and the Connecticut Lottery, was expected to sign the bill before it goes to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for approval, and the governor signed it Thursday.
“With the signing of this bill, Connecticut is now on the verge of delivering a modern, technologically advanced gaming experience that is competitive with our neighboring states and positions us for future success,” Lamont said in a statement. âToday we celebrate the result of months of hard work and dedication to an agreement that is best for Connecticut residents and their respective tribesmen. I thank all lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who realized what this deal means for our state and voted to send this bill to my desk. I also appreciate the partnership of the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in working with my office to make this possible for the residents of our state. I am confident that the federal government deems it appropriate to approve these changes to our contract, and in the coming months we can bring Connecticut to a modernized 21st century gaming experience. “
The federal government must sign the changes to the tribal treaties with the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegan Tribal Nation.
Senator Cathy Osten, who was named co-chair of the Public Safety Committee after Senator Dennis Bradley’s arrest, says the two tribes will be hosting online casino games and online fantasy competitions outside of reservation.
“Connecticut has been working towards this major update for the past four legislative sessions,” said Osten.
She said it would modernize the regulatory structure and allow the governor to change the treaties.
The exclusivity the tribes have towards gambling is partly why it took so long to reach an agreement.
“We run games with two of the largest casinos in our two sovereign countries that have set the standard for gaming in New England,” said Osten.
The Connecticut Lottery is also allowed to enter into online and sports betting, and open 15 retail locations, including one in Hartford and one in Bridgeport.
The state of Connecticut will receive a cut in this gaming revenue. iGaming comes with a tax rate of 18% for the first five years and increased to 20% for the remainder of the 10-year contract. The state will receive 13.75% on sports betting on gross gaming revenue.
The bill also requires the two tribes to contribute $ 500,000 for problem gambling, and the lottery will increase its contribution by $ 1 million to $ 3 million.
East said they had built provisions into the bill to make the apps that are used to place bets on the phone less addicting.
“There will be no bets on state college sports,” said Osten.
Senator Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, said the expansion of gambling had societal costs.
Hwang said the addiction rate for online and sports games is much higher than for in-person gambling in casinos.
Senator Derek Slap, D-West Hartford, cast one of the votes against the measure.
“I really had problems with it,” he said, and while the arguments for the bill have been straightforward and the state wants to generate revenue, Slap said he had to choose his conscience.
“Ultimately, I think that bill is going to ruin some people’s lives,” Slap said, exacerbating an existing mental health crisis that he didn’t want to be part of.
He said research shows that gambling addiction has become even more of a problem in places where online gaming is authorized. While the average game rate in a casino is 30 games per hour, online it is 80 games per hour, which allows people to lose a lot of money on a game very quickly.
“When you’re a recovering gamer, when it’s online, on your phone, on the computer, it’s a lot harder to stay out of it,” Slap said. âI think it’s a recipe for disaster. … I couldn’t find a way to agree with this. “
There was also opposition from legislators representing East Windsor.
The negotiated deal prevents East Windsor Casino from being built for the next 10 years.
“I think that’s wrong,” said Sen. Saud Anwar, D-South Windsor.
He said the city had to find out about this through a Facebook post, not the governor’s office. The Tribes had invested $ 20 million in the old showcase theaters off I-91 to build a casino that would compete with the new MGM casino in Springfield, MA.
Republished with permission from CTNewsJunkie.com, all rights reserved.
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