Retail sports betting will begin in Connecticut on Thursday — as long as gamblers drive out to a casino to make their wagers.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and partner DraftKings Inc. announced on Wednesday that starting on September 30, players will be able to place bets at a temporary sportsbook and kiosks at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, CT.
A permanent sportsbook is "currently in the final stages of construction," a press release said.
Likewise, the Mohegan Tribe and partner FanDuel Group are launching retail sports betting on Thursday at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT. Wagers will be able to be placed at four live betting windows or via 50 self-service terminals at the casino.
The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has been tasked with overseeing that licensing and review process for sports betting, and approved the licenses needed for on-reservation wagering to begin at both casinos on Thursday.
"We are still working to finalize the details for the soft launch of statewide retail and online sports betting, and have not yet set a date for that," DCP spokesperson Kaitlyn Krasselt said in an email.
However, the Mashantucket Pequot and Boston-based DraftKings aren’t wasting any time with their retail launch in Connecticut. Notice of the U.S. Department of the Interior's approval of an agreement between the tribe and the state to amend gambling-related documents was published on Monday in the Federal Register.
The Department of the Interior also approved in September amendments to a gaming compact and memorandum of understanding between the state of Connecticut and the Mohegan Tribe. Those amendments, when combined with a bill passed by the state legislature, allow for the tribe to conduct online casino gambling and sports betting.
Gov. Ned Lamont signed legal sports betting legislation in May, after striking a new gaming agreement with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes. That deal allows the tribes and the Connecticut Lottery Corp. to offer online and retail sports wagering, internet gaming, and fantasy contests.
The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot — the respective owners of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos — have FanDuel and DraftKings as their respective sports-betting partners in the state. The CT Lottery has partnered with BetRivers-owner Rush Street Interactive Inc. for its sports wagering, which it is also allowed to offer at up to 15 physical locations, including off-track betting facilities.
“We thank Governor Lamont and his administration, regulators, and the many lawmakers who helped pave the way for legal sports betting and expanded gaming in the state,” Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman, said in Wednesday’s release. “Their collaboration and hard work has allowed trusted gaming operators like our Tribe and DraftKings to help lead innovation across Connecticut. With NFL season in full force, it’s game on, and we look forward to a successful launch.”