US Department of Interior Approves Connecticut’s Expanded Gaming Compacts

On Thursday, September 9, 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved Connecticut’s amended state-tribal gaming compacts with the Mohegan and Mashantucket-Pequot Tribes, bringing Connecticut another step closer to an expanded gaming “launch.” As we reported previously, the amended compacts were negotiated alongside the state’s new expanded gaming law and allow the Tribes to offer sports betting and daily fantasy sports contests on tribal land. Although the expanded gaming law was enacted in May 2021, its provisions do not take effect until the Department approves the amended compacts and publishes notice of the decisions in the Federal Register.

On September 15, the Department published notice of its approval of the state’s amended compact with the Mohegan Indian Tribe. We expect notice of approval of the state’s compact with the Mashantucket-Pequot Tribe will follow shortly.

Once the Department’s decision regarding the Mashantucket-Pequot Tribe compact has been published, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection will begin issuing Master Wagering and Online Gaming Operator Licenses, a process that should take a few weeks to complete. Thereafter, licensed operators will be required to give notice of their intention to go “live” at least 10 days in advance.

Given that (i) the licensing process will likely take a few weeks; and (ii) operators are required to give 10-days’ notice before going “live,” several state officials, including Governor Ned Lamont, have indicated online sports betting and i-Gaming likely will not officially “launch” until sometime in October 2021.