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Connecticut launches retail sports betting at Sports Haven in New Haven

The terminals at Sports Haven in New Haven where players can now place online sports bets.
Ebong Udoma
WSHU Public Radio
The terminals at Sports Haven in New Haven where players can now place online sports bets.

The Connecticut Lottery launched its first retail sports betting facility in New Haven on Monday. The move is part of the state’s attempt to tap into the expanding online sports betting market.

The venue, called Sports Haven, features wall-to-wall TV monitors, odds boards and offers food and beverages.

Governor Ned Lamont said it's a way for sports fans to have fun as they bet.

That’s what it is. It’s fun. You can sit here, you can watch your team, you can cheer, you can be with some friends. Maybe have a cool frosty and bet on your team,” Lamont said.

Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said the Connecticut Lottery had to get into the sportsbook game.

“It's a way to better regulate and also capture revenue for our state that we weren’t getting before on activity that was happening without this expansion,” she said.

Lottery president Greg Smith said the sportsbook business could help smash their current annual revenue projections for the state.

“The $400 million is what lottery profits are. But lottery participating in sports wagering would add to what lottery already contributes to the state,” he said.

The state lottery could soon open more retail sports betting at Bobby V’s Restaurant and Sports bar locations in Stamford and Windsor Locks.

An agreement with the state’s two tribal-run casinos allowed the state lottery to get into the sportsbook business.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.