Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe have reached an agreement on the amendments for the tribe’s gaming compact, setting the ball rolling for sports betting and online gaming in the state.
Connecticut and the Tribal Nations Have an Agreement
Connecticut lawmakers submitted the sports wagering and online gaming bill last month. For the state to allow these activities, the legislation needs to be backed by the two federally recognized tribes. The agreement has to be approved by the General Assembly, which could apply changes to it. The US Department of the Interior would also have to authorize any changes to the tribe-state compacts.
The news comes right after Jason Guyot was appointed as the new president and CEO of Mashantucket’s Foxwoods Resort Casino. He has been acting as interim chief executive since April 2020 throughout the pandemic, and he will now step into full-time CEO duties.
Lawmakers Couldn’t Leave Out One of the Tribal Nations
Recently, Connecticut reached a similar agreement with the Mohegan Tribe, the other exclusive gaming rights holder. After the announcement of the deal between Lamont and the Mohegan Tribe, it became clear that lawmakers could not allow a deal that would leave out one of the two tribes. The new agreement includes minor changes and covers both tribes.
After the state reached an agreement with the Mohegan Tribe, 17 lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Lamont, stating that they are committed to modernizing the gaming industry in Connecticut but could not accept a deal that leaves out Mashantucket.
Connecticut Will Play
According to the state and the tribes, this deal would bring Connecticut millions of dollars in tax revenue. The state and Mashantucket Pequot Tribe deal sets online gambling taxes at 18%, which a bit less than the one negotiated with the Mohegan Tribal Nation, which is at 20%. Sports wagering taxes will set at 13.75%.
Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequots, Rodney Butler, stated that the tribe is proud to reach this agreement with the state Senate and called it a “historic moment for our Tribal Nation.” He said that the deal would boost Connecticut’s economy and lay a solid foundation for the future of the tribal community.
Gov. Lamont stated that the deal allows the tribes to prosper and grow. “Connecticut will play,” he said, “this is what all the other neighboring states are doing.”
Mashantucket Is Keeping Its Momentum
At the end of 2020, Mashantucket’s Foxwoods operator inked a partnership deal with DraftKings. The Boston-based operator will be the first daily fantasy and sportsbook partner for Foxwoods Resort Casino. When the legislation passes, DraftKings will launch sports wagering in the state.
In January 2021, Mashantucket and Lion Grove announced their plans to open Foxwoods El San Juan Casino at Fairmont El San Juan Hotel in Puerto Rico. The total investment amounts to $137.5 million.