Decision Time: Final CT Sports Betting Skin Bidding Period Closes

Posted on June 11, 2021
CT sports betting
Posted By on June 11, 2021

The Connecticut Lottery is on the clock as the window to bid for the final CT sports betting skin closed at 2 p.m. Friday.

The Lottery received five bids after it formally asked four sportsbooks to submit binding proposals. It received 15 responses during the initial request for qualifications period.

There are only three CT sports betting skins. The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Indians will use DraftKings Sportsbook and Kambi, respectively.

It will be 10 years before the losing bidders will have another chance to enter Connecticut.

Sports betting in Connecticut will launch this fall. Launching in time for the beginning of the NFL betting season is “extremely aggressive” but not impossible, CT Lottery Chairman Rob Simmelkjaer said.

Who will win final CT sports betting skin?

The Lottery is scheduled to pick a winner by June 28 – but the public might still be waiting after that.

Simmelkjaer detailed a bit of the process at the Lottery’s board of directors meeting Thursday.

The Sports Betting Development Committee and a retained consultant will analyze all binding proposals before picking a preliminary winner. But no one will know who that is right away, Simmelkjaer said:

“We will not make any public announcement as to who has been chosen, any terms or anything like that until the contract has been agreed to and signed.”

Conversations with Sportech ongoing for retail

Simmelkjaer also noted he and Lottery CEO Greg Smith have had continuing conversations with Sportech. The company is the state’s only OTB operator and the Lottery can outsource some of its 15 retail sportsbook operations to Sportech if it chooses to do so.

“Those conversations are ongoing regarding the potential use of some of their existing OTB locations as sports betting retail locations as well as some other potential aspects of partnership with them.”

Simmelkjaer also mentioned he and Smith are considering the XL Center, a multi-use arena and convention center, as its sportsbook location in Hartford. The expanded gaming law requires the Lottery to put a retail sportsbook in both Bridgeport and Hartford.

“That is a focus, for sure,” Simmelkjaer said of the XL Center. “We’ve also looked into different locations in Bridgeport – but for any of that to really go anywhere we have to have this operating partner in place. Whatever we do, it’s going to be their jobs to run the actual sportsbook operation.”

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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