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Expanded Online Gambling Converges With Past Tribal Agreement

John Locher

Four potential vendors made their case to state lawmakers for an agreement that would allow them to run online gambling and sports betting. It's the latest in a years-long push for expanded gambling in the state.

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes run the state’s two casinos because of an agreement the state made with the tribes in 1991. It gives them exclusive rights to gambling in Connecticut. Mashantucket Pequot Chair Rodney Butler said giving the tribes rights to online gaming and sports betting would honor the compact.

“We should all take pride in the Connecticut state tribal nation partnership story. It’s a multigenerational, multi-beneficial alliance between sovereign governments. That’s not a statement that has been reiterated too often through history,” Butler said.

Ray Pineault is with the Mohegan Tribe.

“We ask that our partners remember and respect the underlying exclusivity of our tribal nations when it comes to gaming in our state. Sports wagering can and should be implemented without putting those agreements in jeopardy,” Pineault said.

The state lottery corporation and off-track betting operator Sportech are also in consideration to offer online gaming or sports betting.

Connecticut lawmakers in both parties said online sports betting is on the agenda for the state General Assembly’s next legislative session. And Governor Ned Lamont is also in talks with the tribes.

Davis Dunavin loves telling stories, whether on the radio or around the campfire. He started in Missouri and ended up in Connecticut, which, he'd like to point out, is the same geographic trajectory taken by Mark Twain.