Just a little red tape

Online gambling in Connecticut – including the highly anticipated online sports betting – has been delayed beyond the originally scheduled October 7 start date. The reason: an unforeseen hiccup with federal procedures.

Because Connecticut gambling expansion required the compacts between the state and both the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe to be amended, the updated compacts had to be published to the Federal Register. The Mohegans’ compact was published September 15, but the Mashantuckets’ compact was not published for another two weeks. It is apparently that delay that has carried forward, pushing back online gambling’s launch date in the Nutmeg State.

“We are still working to finalize the details of the statewide online and retail launch of sports betting, and we are working with the licensees to ensure their platforms are certified and in compliance with the regulations prior to launch,” a spokesperson for the Department of Consumer Protection told Legal Sports Report. “As such, no date has been set but we do not anticipate it to be a lengthy delay.”

Once it does get going, there will be three online sports betting sites. The Mohegan Tribe has partnered with FanDuel, the Mashantucket Pequots have partnered with DraftKings, and the Connecticut Lottery is working with PlaySugarHouse. In the meantime, the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods launched brick-and-mortar sports betting with FanDuel and DraftKings, respectively, on September 30, so bettors in the area do still have options while they wait for the online apps to get up and running.

The tribes will also have online casinos with their gaming partners, but the Lottery has no online casino plans. So it’s two choices, that’s it.

No online poker, naturally

As for online poker, like pretty much every state, I would recommend not holding your breath. Online poker was legalized along with online sports betting and online casinos, but there is zero indication right now that any internet poker rooms will start up any time soon, if at all.

Connecticut has two things going against it right now for online poker. The first is the lack of an interstate poker compact. The second, which is related to the first, is the state’s population. Starting with the latter, Connecticut actually has a decent population for its geographic size, but it still ranks in the bottom half of states. The size of the player base is of the utmost important in poker, so operators may be hesitant to try to get something going in a state where they will need a high percentage of the population to play.

Connecticut’s smaller size means that it would greatly benefit from a multi-state poker agreement. Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey share player pools, pretty much a necessity for Nevada and Delaware, both of which are smaller than Connecticut. Doing this grows the player base on the network, which fills more tables, and, in turn, attracts more customers. If Connecticut joined up with other states, perhaps operators would be excited to launch a poker room.

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