There is plenty of interest in the last remaining license to operate CT sports betting, the Connecticut Lottery announced Monday.
The Lottery received 15 responses to its request for qualifications, which launched 11 days before its Friday deadline. The process remains on an accelerated timeline with the hopes of launching CT sports betting in time for the start of the NFL season.
There are still more steps before sports betting in Connecticut is legal, but this is the farthest the process has ever come. Gov. Ned Lamont‘s office and the state’s two tribal gaming partners finally came to an expanded gaming agreement in March.
What’s next for sports betting in CT?
The legislature still has to approve an amended compact, which also requires federal approval. As part of the agreement, the Connecticut Lottery gets one of the state’s three online sports betting skins, as well as up 15 retail betting locations.
“We are pleased to see significant interest from companies who would like to partner with the CLC to bring our online and retail sports betting offering to market,” said Rob Simmelkjaer, Chairman of the CT Lottery. “Our staff and board will now begin a process of carefully reviewing the qualifications of the submitting parties as we work towards choosing the right partner in this important initiative for our state.”
The next step for the CT Lottery starts today. The Lottery will invite those companies to present their responses this week before finalists are asked to submit formal business plans next Monday. On the current timeline, the Lottery will pick a sports betting partner May 17.
Lottery officials are not revealing which companies applied for the skin: “Due to the confidential nature of the RFQ process, and the need for full legislation to come forth from the Connecticut General Assembly, the CLC will not release any further information at this time.”
Lottery will view CT sports betting bids holistically
Unlike the bidding process for sports betting in New Hampshire and the one upcoming that will decide who operates mobile NY sports betting, Connecticut has no scoring system for applications.
Instead, the Lottery will be looking at all of the bids holistically, Simmelkjaer told LSR.
That said, he called out four key factors that will be considered:
- Product, which is both the app a sportsbook offers and its pricing.
- Customer acquisition and retention.
- Experience with retail sports betting. Simmelkjaer stressed the importance of retail and hopes to have a sportsbook within a 30-minute drive of everyone in Connecticut.
- Responsible gaming practices.
Market details so far
Right now, only the big details about sports betting in Connecticut are known. Regulations still need to be drafted.
Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 13.75% for the two tribal partners, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indians. The Mashantucket Pequot partnered with DraftKings Sportsbook while the Mohegan partnered with Kambi.
The partner for the Lottery will have to offer its own revenue-share rate. Simmelkjaer expects that to be a competitive rate, given New Hampshire gets 51% of mobile bets from DraftKings. New York also wants at least 50% of revenue from its applicants.