The CT sports betting market took a step forward Tuesday as a joint legislative committee approved emergency betting regulations.
The emergency regulations crafted by the Department of Consumer Protection passed, 9-4, as some legislators were clearly unhappy with the process.
Online Connecticut sportsbooks still need federal approval before they can launch. That will come by Sept. 10, but that does not mean sportsbooks will be ready to launch and take bets then.
CT sports betting launch up in the air
There are still a few things that have to happen before CT sportsbooks can start accepting bets, according to a DCP spokesperson:
- The regulations need to be codified with the Secretary of State’s office once DCP makes the technical changes requested.
- Everyone in the CT sports betting industry still needs to be licensed, including organizations and their employees.
- Licensing cannot start until the Department of Interior publishes the updated gaming agreements in the Federal Register.
Multiple moving parts make it hard to set a timeline for the market of three to launch, DCP said.
Connecticut Lottery Chairman Rob Simmelkjaer expects to take wagers during the “early part” of the NFL betting season.
The Lottery partnered with Rush Street Interactive, selecting the company over four other bidders. DraftKings Sportsbook is partnered with the Mashantucket Pequot Indians while FanDuel Sportsbook will launch with the Mohegan Indians.
CT sports betting regs get pushback
The approved regulations for CT sports betting are fairly straightforward but there were still a few points for legislators to question.
Whether or not gambling accounts funded by joint bank accounts should be allowed was the topic of most of the hour-long meeting. Funding with a joint account was initially banned in the first round of regulations but later removed in the substitute regulations.
DPC Commissioner Michelle Seagull said it would not be clear to an operator how many people were on the bank account. Banning account funding by joint bank account could shut down all bank account deposits for some time, she added.
Legislators will have a chance to address the regulations again. There will be a public hearing when the permanent regulations come for approval within six months.
Request for additional payment methods, too
Sen. Cathy Osten requested the DCP continue to look into expanding sports betting funding to more commonly-used methods like PayPal and Venmo.
Those methods are not expressly banned through statute but could create issues. The law only allows one credit or debit card to be linked to an account, which could be an issue with PayPal or Venmo accounts, Seagull said.
Is CT rushing launch for football season?
Co-Chair Sen. James Maroney acknowledged the issues but asked members to press on regardless:
“I want to note that I do understand this is an issue of concern for many members but I would ask us to support the regulations the way they are written so we can implement the sports gambling and online gambling in the timely manner – why we had promulgated these emergency regulations.”
Sen. John Kissel, who led most of the discussion on joint accounts, finished his thoughts by questioning the reason for the rush.
“This whole rushing to sort of – and I just know this anecdotally – to meet the opening of the football season, you know, hey, land of steady habits. I’d rather walk instead of run. I don’t see a race here. We’re behind other states as it is. I’d rather get it right.”