The Connecticut Lottery announced it will partner with Rush Street Interactive, making the brand the third and final CT sports betting skin.
Rush Street Interactive joins DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook to round out the Connecticut sportsbook market. DraftKings partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot Indians in late 2020. FanDuel recently bumped Kambi out of its Connecticut betting agreement with the Mohegan Indians.
The brand is still to be determined, Lottery Chair Rob Simmelkjaer said during the announcement. RSI guarantees a minimum of $170 million to the Lottery over the 10-year contract. That’s nearly double the minimum $95 million required.
“We chose RSI for a number of reasons,” Simmelkjear said. “First of all, from the purely financial point of view, we graded and we perceived their offer to be the best offer among the ones received from various bidders.”
When will CT sports betting launch?
All should launch retail and mobile Connecticut sports betting operations in time for regular-season NFL betting. The Connecticut legislature passed bills enabling legal sports betting in the state this spring after years of previous failed attempts.
When that launch comes is still up in the air. Regulations still need to be passed and the Department of Interior still needs to approve the renegotiated compacts submitted in late July.
“We are confident we will be taking sports bets this NFL season in the early part of it,” Simmelkjaer said. “Just a matter of when exactly that date will be is still open to consideration.”
Rush Street Interactive beat 4 others for CT sports betting skin
Unlike the process to pick online NY sportsbook operators next door, the Connecticut Lottery did not have a strict scoring guide to follow. That allowed the Lottery to consider every bid holistically. Near the top of the list, though, was always revenue share.
The exact percentage share depends on what RSI deducts from gross gaming revenue. No matter what, though, the Lottery will always receive a majority of net gaming revenue:
“I was public in my desire for us to receive at least 50% of net gaming revenue, and their offer did achieve that for us. Again, as I stated we can’t name a specific number because of the deductions and how much is deducted will end up determining exactly where on that scale we will end up. But we were very pleased with the revenue share as well as the minimum revenue guarantee.”
Rush Street Interactive will have largest CT retail footprint
Rush Street Interactive will have up to 15 retail sportsbooks throughout the state, including spots in Bridgeport and Hartford. Simmelkjaer told LSR he envisioned one within a 30-minute drive of everyone in Connecticut.
Simmelkjaer confirmed 10 of the 15 locations will be at existing Sportech locations, which should help get those sportsbooks open and operational quickly. The XL Center in Hartford is also still on the table as an option.
DraftKings and FanDuel will have retail sportsbooks only at their partner casinos. But their tribal partners will have another customer acquisition tool: iGaming.
Only the tribes can operate full iGaming through the updated gaming agreement with the state. The CT Lottery only gets iLottery.
iGaming is where the real online gaming revenue is made, and projections provided by Mohegan Gaming show the same expected for Connecticut. iGaming revenue is projected to be $410.4 million in year five, double the projected sports betting revenue of $205.2 million.