[toc]The Connecticut legislature passed a bill that could legalize sports betting in the future, according to local media reports.
The last-minute sports betting effort in Connecticut
The language about sports betting were inserted into a larger gaming discussion/package in the state that would allow for another tribal casino.
Here’s what the bill would do, per the Hartford Courant:
It also instructs the state’s consumer protection department to begin establishing a regulatory structure for potential sports betting in the event of legalization by the federal government.
The sports betting provisions are included in a bill that also increases the number of off-track betting sites in the state.
After getting through the House early Wednesday, the bill passed the state Senate later in the day — the final scheduled day of the legislative session. It must still be signed by the governor.
Meanwhile, it does not appear that there was any late movement on a bill to legalize daily fantasy sports in the state.
Not a New Jersey-style challenge
Connecticut is not looking to challenge the current federal law — PASPA — that prohibits single-game wagering anywhere outside of Nevada. That’s the law that New Jersey is currently challenging in the federal court system. The state is hoping the US Supreme Court will agree to hear its appeal this month.
The Connecticut sports betting bill would appear to be triggered by a change in the federal climate, via:
- A victory in the New Jersey sports betting case;
- Another state successfully challenging PASPA;
- Congress passing a law repealing or amending PASPA to allow states to offer sports betting.
Other states and sports betting
While there has been lots of interest at the state level in 2017, the late movement in Connecticut represents the first real progress for any such sports betting legislation this year.
Other states that have seen sports betting legislation introduced:
- New York
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
There are also bills in the US Congress that would affect federal law on sports betting to varying degrees.