Rhode Island has become the first state in New England to offer sports betting. This decision has prompted neighboring states, like Connecticut, to consider legalizing sports betting as well. Following Rhode Island’s move, Connecticut has approved sports betting for retail and online options. The state’s legislature approved sports betting in October 2021, with major professional sports leagues such as the MLB and the NBA showing their support. This new legislation has made Foxwoods Resort and Casino, owned by the Mashantucket Pequots, and Mohegan Sun Casino, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, the exclusive gambling entities in the state for almost thirty years. Additionally, the Connecticut Lottery was given authority to run sports betting through a partnership with tribal casinos.
The state saw an impressive $1 billion in sports betting handle in just nine months, reflecting rapid growth in the industry. Connecticut has also had the highest year-to-year growth in commercial casino gaming revenue, with an increase of over 430% from 2021 to 2022.
In terms of mobile sports betting, Connecticut now has three live sports betting apps – DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics. These apps are available for online and retail betting throughout the state. The amended tribal compact allows the Connecticut Lottery to operate up to 15 retail sportsbooks and outsource some of them to Sportech, the state’s off-track betting provider.
Despite this progress, Connecticut has experienced challenges in sports betting financials. The state lags behind other states in terms of sports betting wagers, with its hold percentage dropping from 11.5% to 6.3%. This decline meant a decrease in revenue for the sportsbooks and the state.
Connecticut added sports betting to compete with neighboring states and cut into Rhode Island’s success in the market. The state aims to establish itself in the Northeast and stay ahead of the competition. With iGaming industry growing, this is becoming an important aspect of the gambling industry, and Connecticut is working to stay at the forefront of this trend.