The State of Connecticut has joined a growing list of US states in liberalizing its laws around online betting and gaming. The state confirmed that its ‘soft launch’ went ahead on October 12, 2021.
Connecticut’s Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) confirmed that the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, along with their partners, were allowed to commence a week-long period where they could accept online bets.
The two Native American tribes and the Lottery Corporation are currently the only operators allowed to offer sports betting services, while only the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes can offer online gaming.
Big name operators head to Connecticut
Some big names have already moved into the Connecticut online gambling market. FanDuel have partnered with the Mohegan Tribe, while DraftKings are working alongside the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Rush Street Interactive have partnered with the Connecticut Lottery Corporation.
The rules of the soft launch stipulated that the three operators could only offer sports betting between the hours of 3pm and 11pm on Tuesday and Wednesday. They were then allowed to offer those services again between 12pm and 11:59pm on Thursday and Friday before being expanded to a 24-hour cycle for the rest of the soft launch.
Further limitations were in place too. Only 750 customers could wager directly through the platform offered to all three operators, while the two Native American tribes offering services could only provide games approved by the DCP.
After the week-long soft launch that started on October 12, operators were able to fully launch their services on October 19. The launch has certainly indicated a strong appetite for online gambling amongst consumers in this part of New England.
During the soft launch period, around 1.2 million wagers were accepted by operators. Given that the population of Connecticut is only around 3.5 million, this was a significant number of wagers and means that the state jumped straight to ninth place in the state rankings of sports betting and casino traffic per capita in the United States.
What is also interesting is that much of the online gambling traffic generated was located in the south-west corner of the state, close to New York. Around eight percent of the total wagers placed were from this region, highlighting that many New York-based bettors are willing to cross state lines to place legal bets.
New Yorkers will travel to bet
Betting in New York State is currently only legal in upstate casinos, so there is a huge appetite for online options in the state. It has been estimated that around 38% of the total betting traffic was generated along the I-95 corridor in the south west of Connecticut.
“We’ve learned from the New Jersey experience that New Yorkers are clearly motivated to travel locally to bet on sites where proper consumer protections have been put in place that safeguard the integrity of their wager,” said Chad Kornett, vice president of global government relations at GeoComply.
New York is set to roll out legal online sports betting in the first three months of 2022. Until then, New Yorkers have to travel to seek out legal options for betting and gaming, and it looks as though Connecticut operators may experience some short-term benefits from the state’s recent liberalisation of gambling legislation.
Other states are set to follow suit with allowing online gambling too. If you live in Iowa you may be able to do some virtual sports betting online legally soon, with the Iowa Gaming Association lobbying the state’s lawmakers to follow the example of Connecticut and the rapidly lengthening list of other states where it is now legal to gamble online.