Legal sports betting is available in Connecticut, and you can find both retail and online sports betting options available. However, it did take Connecticut longer than most wanted for the state to legalize this industry and begin accepting wagers.
It took a new gaming compact with a pair of Native American tribes to get this industry up and running. Additionally, the state lottery is involved. Connecticut has been able to attract multiple top online sportsbook operators to provide great options for bettors in the state.
The overall numbers that have come from Connecticut have been relatively small. Additionally, there is no room for growth in the sports betting market. It doesn’t appear that things will change moving forward.
Connecticut has a strong sports culture despite not being home to any professional sports teams of the “Big Four” leagues. Sports bettors have put up some impressive numbers so far, but a restrictive rule when it comes to college betting has limited the overall amount of bets that can be made.
History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Connecticut
Connecticut has always been a state with limited gambling options, and casino gambling is permitted through Native American tribes. Sports betting didn’t become a realistic possibility until the federal ban on sports betting was lifted back in May 2018, but it took Connecticut a while to get involved.
State lawmakers explored sports betting in 2018, but it was just a study that was done to check out the industry. When lawmakers got together for a special session in 2019, sports betting was not discussed in any fashion.
Lawmakers again attempted to legalize sports betting back in 2020 as two bills were brought to the table for discussion. Ultimately, lawmakers decided against these two bills and it wouldn’t be until 2021 when legal sports betting became a law.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe reached an agreement with Governor Ned Lamont in early 2021 for new gaming compacts. Those new gaming compacts included legal sports betting, and the state legislature approved the new compact.
When those compacts were signed it gave both tribes to right to offer legal sports betting at their casinos. Each tribe could also have access to an online sports betting skin. Additionally, they were free to partner with an online sports betting operator.
Through legislation, the Connecticut Lottery was also granted an online sports betting license to set up and run an online sportsbook app.
Financial History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Connecticut
Despite being a relatively small state, Connecticut is a state that has put up some impressive sports betting numbers. Things started a bit slow in the sports betting industry but picked up over the final few months of 2022.
The total sports betting handle for the state of Connecticut since October 2021 is now over $1.8 billion. The total sports betting revenue since that time has come in at $163.3 million, and a majority of that number has come in 2022.
Sportsbooks in Connecticut have won 8.8% of the wagers that have been placed since October 2021, and that has helped boost the gross revenue and tax revenue numbers. Since sports betting was first launched the state has collected over $16.3 million in tax revenue.
Connecticut finished 2022 by having three straight months with over $160 million in total sports betting handle. That trend should continue moving forward. The monthly revenue record for Connecticut was set in November 2022 and it was just over $17 million.
There are still very modest numbers compared to some of the biggest states in the U.S. with sports betting. However, Connecticut sportsbooks are doing better than expected.
Sportsbook Apps in Connecticut
Online sports betting in Connecticut did not launch at the same time as retail sports betting. However, it wasn’t too far behind. The sports betting law in Connecticut allows for just three online sports betting licenses. All three have already been claimed.
Even though only having three online sportsbooks limits the options for sports bettors, two of the biggest names in sports betting have launched in Connecticut. The Native American tribes in the state did have the opportunity to launch their own mobile app. They instead partnered with online sports betting operators.
DraftKings is the chosen partner of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, and it’s a sports betting operator that is seen in many states throughout the country. DraftKings used to solely focus on daily fantasy sports, but it has made a smooth and successful transition into sports betting.
The Mohegan Tribe has partnered with FanDuel Sportsbook to provide online sports betting in the state. When it comes to online sports betting in the United States it is FanDuel that is the clear leader in online market share.
The Connecticut Lottery also decided to partner with an online sports betting operator to launch and offer mobile sports betting. SugarHouse Sportsbook was selected as the partner for the lottery. It is the third-most-popular online sportsbook or mobile app in Connecticut. It was later rebranded to BetRivers. The company decided to leave the Connecticut market as it is not permitted to accept online casino bets. The Connecticut Lottery is looking for a new partner to replace BetRivers.
Retail Locations to Bet on Sports in Connecticut
Since it took a new gaming compact for sports betting to become legal in the state of Connecticut, Native American tribes controlled all of the retail sports betting. Native American tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan Tribe, both have big casinos on tribal land.
The Connecticut Lottery also can establish retail sportsbooks throughout the state. However, those are much smaller than the big casino sportsbooks. Up to 15 retail sportsbooks can be established by the Connecticut Lottery. Eight of those locations have opened.
The Foxwoods Resort Casino is one of the locations where legal sports betting is offered in-person in Connecticut and that’s owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. The Mohegan Sun is the other major retail sports betting location in the state.
Two casinos have retail sportsbooks equipped with sports betting kiosks, but you will also find live tellers as well.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Connecticut
There are four major professional sports in the United States. However, Connecticut does not have a team in any of those leagues. That is one reason that Connecticut hasn’t put up huge sports betting numbers, but the size of the state plays a role as well.
While there are no major professional sports teams in Connecticut, there are still some very popular teams. There doesn’t appear to be a clear favorite team for sports fans as allegiances are split among the fans.
Betting on the NFL is extremely popular with sports bettors in Connecticut, just as it is in other states. The three most popular teams for sports fans in Connecticut include the New England Patriots, the New York Giants, and the New York Jets.
The Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees tend to be the most popular MLB teams, and the NBA teams from those cities (Celtics, Knicks) are popular with basketball fans. Connecticut used to have an NHL team, Hartford Whalers, but that team has been out of the capital city for nearly 30 years.
The UConn men’s and women’s basketball teams are extremely popular with sports fans in the state. However, betting is only available in a tournament setting under state law. There must be at least four teams in a college tournament involving an in-state team.
FAQ for betting in Connecticut
When did sports betting launch in Connecticut?
Retail sports betting officially launched in Connecticut back in September 2021. It wasn’t long until online sportsbooks went live as those mobile sportsbook apps launched in October 2021.
What is the legal sports betting age in Connecticut?
The legal sports betting age in the state of Connecticut is 21 years of age.
Can I bet on college sporting events in Connecticut?
Betting on college sporting events is legal in the state of Connecticut, with restrictions. Sportsbooks can only offer betting on in-state college teams tournaments with four or more teams.
Are there any mobile sports betting apps in Connecticut?
Yes, the sports betting law in Connecticut allows for three online sports betting apps. The three available mobile sportsbook apps are DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers.
Can I get a welcome bonus from sportsbooks in Connecticut?
Yes, all three of the mobile sportsbook apps available in the state will offer some sort of welcome bonus. Each welcome bonus is going to be different, allowing you to choose the one that works the best for you.