Connecticut House adopts online gambling bill

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The lower house of the Connecticut legislature overwhelmingly passed a bill that would legalize online sports betting and gambling in the state.

According to a report by CT mirror, the House voted 122-21 in favor of the bill that would allow both the Connecticut Lottery and the two federally recognized tribes to offer sports betting. Nine Democrats and 12 Republicans voted against the bill. Overall, there was bipartisan support.

The two tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe, own and operate the two casinos in the state. The bill would also allow them to offer online casino games, including poker.

The lottery will create 15 retail sports bets, a few of which will be designated for Hartford and Bridgeport, two of the state’s largest cities. Players will be permitted to wager on professional and collegiate athletics, with the exception of individual matches of the University of Connecticut football and basketball teams. These bets will be prohibited under this law.

The bill is now sent to the Senate. If adopted there, it will head to Governor Ned Lamont’s office. It is a critical lock for Lamont to put his signature on the bill after negotiating a new pact with the two tribes, which sparked the proposal which is now making its way through the Legislature.

In March, Lamont struck an online gambling deal with the two tribes. The deal was identical to legislation passed by the house that allowed sports betting to be split between tribes and the lottery, but gave tribes the ability to offer games online.

Once signed by Lamont, the law will modify the current gaming pact in place between the state and the tribes. Since these are federally recognized tribes, these changes will need to be approved by the Home Office.

If this bill becomes law, Connecticut would be the seventh state to legalize online poker, joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Michigan. Several neighboring states have already legalized sports betting, including New York and Rhode Island.

Income from online gambling will be taxed at a rate of 18% for the first five years and 20% for subsequent years. Sports betting will have a 13.75% income tax.

The Bureau of Financial Analysis estimates that this bill would generate a total of $ 27.9 million in new tax revenue.



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