Mohegan Sun Casino announced Monday that it has suspended betting on the WNBA after questions were raised about a potential conflict in taking bets on the Connecticut Sun, a team also owned by the Mohegan Tribe.
The problem arose after Governor Ned Lamont opened the bookie last Thursday, the first day of legalized sports betting in Connecticut, by placing a $ 50 bet on the Sun to win its playoff game with the Chicago Sky.
The bet has caught the attention of some state experts and lawmakers concerned about a potential conflict of interest with the Mohegan Sun accepting bets on the Sun, which plays in the arena located in the casino complex.
Casino officials said on Monday they decided this weekend to suspend betting on the WNBA playoffs on sports betting.
“We are in the process of working with the WNBA to update our SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and have decided to withdraw wagers from the WNBA until this is finalized,” said Jeff Hamilton, President and CEO of the Mohegan Sun, in a statement.
When Connecticut lawmakers put in place emergency regulations and legislation to allow sports betting this fall, they banned Mohegan Sun employees, including those involved with the team, from placing bets on sports betting. . They also banned anyone from betting on games involving UConn, Yale, or any other university in the state.
But they didn’t ban the tribe from accepting bets on games involving the Connecticut Sun.
State Representative Maria Horn, a Democrat who co-chairs the legislative committee that oversees Connecticut gambling, said the potential conflict could be resolved in the next legislative session, when permanent regulations are approved for the three. state-approved sports betting.
“We were more concerned that no one with a substantial interest in this team could bet on the team,” she said on Friday. “This is a major expansion (of the game) and I would be very surprised if everything was right from the first bite. I expect that we will go back and consider if an adjustment needs to be made. “
The WNBA and the NBA have an agreement that allows third-party sports betting in arenas in which teams play as long as they are separated from all common areas of the arena and accessible only to those who are legally able to play.
The league did not respond to specific questions on how it would resolve any potential conflict with the Mohegan Sun taking bets on the Sun.