Connecticut Legislators Take Another Shot at Legal Sports Betting

After talks broke down last year to introduce a legal and regulated sports betting industry to Connecticut, new efforts have been made by eight state legislators.  The senators jointly filed a bill – SB 665 – which aims to establish a legal sports wagering framework in the Constitution State.

The eight state senators who filed the bill:

  • Mary Daugherty Abrams
  • Dennis Bradley
  • Steven Cassano
  • Christine Cohen
  • Bob Duff
  • Julie Kushner
  • Martin Looney
  • Norman Needleman

The bill will allow sports betting on certain sports events. The state legislature will be responsible for developing a regulatory framework for the industry.

The eight senators have now referred SB 665 to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Security.

As soon as the US Supreme Court ruled on the unconstitutionality of PASPA last year, thereby opening the gates for legal sports betting across the country, Connecticut started checking its options – as did many other states. Governor Dannel Mallot did not immediately rule out the idea and in August 2018, even said that he would consider legal sports betting before he left office in January this year.  Interest groups only had a short window of time to present their proposals to the governor.

Malloy told The Connecticut Mirror at the time: “The bottom line is in the last few weeks real action has taken place. People have started to move in a direction where I think an agreement could ultimately be reached with respect to who could operate within our state, how they would operate within their state, what could be bet on, and the like. It’s possible an agreement could be reached and legislative action could be called upon. I asked them for input on that matter, whether they intend to come into session.”

However, Malloy’s predictions did not come to fruition and talks broke down soon afterwards, when an agreement with two Native American tribes could not be reached by the required date.

Now, with the opening of the new session under Malloy’s successor, Governor Ned Lamont, it remains to be seen if Connecticut will adopt legal sports betting once and for all.

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