The State of Connecticut has now reached a formal deal with the Mohegan Tribe, with another one “inches away” from Foxwoods to legalize sports betting and online gambling in the state.
Gov. Ned Lamont and Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner Jr. announced this week that they have reached an accord to “allow the State of Connecticut to modernize gaming options available to state residents.”
Lamont said that he expects the agreement to generate tens of millions of dollars for the state, “while keeping Connecticut competitive with gaming changes currently being offered or considered in neighboring states.”
The agreement also includes the Connecticut Lottery Corporation as a partner.
Under the agreement, Mohegan Sun - and soon Foxwoods - will be able to offer sports betting, and the Connecticut Lottery can open up to 15 retail locations, with sites already planned in Bridgeport and Hartford.
Sports betting may be available as soon as this summer pending approval by state and federal lawmakers.
“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming,” Lamont said in a statement.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut.”
Key components of the agreement, according to state officials, include:
- A 20 percent tax rate for the state on new online gaming, or “iGaming,” offerings;
- A 13.75 percent tax rate on sports wagering;
- Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to operate 15 retail sports betting locations, as well as operate an online sports betting skin;
- Connecticut Lottery shall have the right to sub-license some of those locations to the state-licensed pari-mutuel operator;
- Connecticut Lottery will undertake new retail sports betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport;
- License agreement to be for ten years with a five-year extension option.
“The Mohegan Tribe is proud to have reached this agreement with Governor Lamont and the State of Connecticut,” Gessner added. “This path will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, and help keep Connecticut with those states when it comes to growing our economy and benefiting the state budget.”
Foxwoods is still haggling over the terms of their agreement, though officials have repeatedly said they are “inches” away.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chair Rodney Butler said that there is just one remaining point of contention that “could be easily resolved if some sense of mutual respect is afforded for the specific needs of our tribal community.”
“After months of closed-door negotiations, it's offensive that Governor Lamont would announce an agreement with only one of the two Tribal Nations that have been a party to the negotiations, despite full knowledge that both sovereign Nations are needed to implement any agreement,” he said.
“We have participated in these discussions in good faith and consider today’s events extremely disrespectful in terms of process and substance,” Butler added. “Now that the Governor Lamont has laid bare the confidential terms of our negotiations, you can see the significant and substantial concessions made by both Tribes.”
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