Connecticut has proven to be a leader when it comes to the gaming economy going back decades … that legacy will continue with the launch of these new online optionsFolks interested in making online sports wagers or playing casino games online in Connecticut have reason to celebrate. Both became available in the state through a soft launch last week.
This expanded to 24 hours over the past weekend, and from 6am today a full launch is expected.
But fans of online poker will have to wait. They could be waiting for a long time.
DraftKings, FanDuel and PlaySuperHouse soft launch in CT
Last week, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (CDCP) announced that a seven-day soft launch period for online sports betting and casino gaming could begin on Tuesday, October 12, expanding to 24 hours by Saturday, October 16.
That announcement officially kicked off both verticals in the state. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the Mohegan Tribe and the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC) and their partner operators—respectively, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Interactive (RSI)—were initially allowed to register 750 online players during the soft launch. The CLC is offering online sports betting only.
This test period has proved to be a success, with no reported problems from the trio of operators. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamond announced on Monday that a full igaming launch was now scheduled for Tuesday, 6am, meaning no more limits on the number of signups.
“This is an exciting moment for our state and our tribal partners,” said Governor Lamont. “Connecticut has proven to be a leader when it comes to the gaming economy going back decades, and that legacy will continue with the launch of these new online options for all eligible residents.”
Connecticut: Online Gambling Partners and Brands
|Licensee||Online Partner||Brands||Launch verticals||Potential for poker?|
|Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation||DraftKings||DraftKings||Sports betting, Casino||Yes, in theory – though no poker platform|
|Mohegan Tribe||FanDuel||FanDuel Sportsbook; Mohegan Sun Casino||Sports betting, Casino||Yes – Flutters own multiple poker platforms, including PokerStars|
|Connecticut Lottery Corporation||Rush Street Interactive||PlaySugarHouse||Sports betting||No|
Soft launch week considered a success
CLC officials said the Lottery, through RSI’s PlaySugarHouse sportsbook, took in more than $60,000 in sports wagers during the first two days of online gambling, according to the Hartford Courant.
“We’re seeing what we consider after a few days very normal activity and a good test of the system so far,” said Greg Smith, CEO of the CLC, at the Lottery’s board of directors meeting last Thursday, according to the paper.
Lottery board chairman Robert Simmelkjaer II reportedly added that “everything that we hoped would happen on the platform has been happening and it’s been happening smoothly. Accounts have been created, bets have been placed, deposits have been made all without any real drama.”
The report added that the CLC had to turn away more than 2,000 players interested in opening betting accounts due to the 750-player limit imposed by the soft launch. However, those who were turned away should be able to open accounts from 6am this morning.
Neither DraftKings nor FanDuel reported any problems with the soft launch through Monday.
The CLC is still in the process of setting up 10 retail betting kiosks that were authorized in legislation last May approving online sports betting, casino gaming and poker in the Constitution State.
Meanwhile, DraftKings and FanDuel are working to finish construction of permanent sportsbooks at the Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun casinos. Both facilities are expected to be completed this winter.
DraftKings’ temporary sportsbook at Foxwoods is located at the Ultimate Race Book in Rainmaker Casino. Betting kiosks have also been set up at locations across the resort. At the Mohegan Sun, FanDuel’s temporary sportsbook is located at the Bow & Arrow Sports Bar.
Online poker rooms? It’s complicated
While Connecticut’s two tribes are allowed to open online poker rooms along with online sportsbooks and casinos, each tribe was only allowed to partner with one operator.
That means, under the current regimen, DraftKings will be the one to provide poker for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and FanDuel will have that option for the Mohegan Tribe. The CLC was not authorized to provide online poker.
DraftKings doesn’t have its own online poker platform, so the opening of an online poker room at Foxwoods seems remote.
FanDuel, however, is owned by UK gaming conglomerate Flutter, which completed its acquisition of The Stars Group—and its PokerStars platform—in May 2020. One possibility is that FanDuel would provide an online poker room powered by PokerStars but branded as Mohegan Sun.
Since Connecticut is a small state, with a population of just 3.6 million, the odds of such an online poker room opening are unclear. But it is important to note that the state’s new gaming law allows Connecticut to join an interstate compact for poker, so it is within the realm of possibility.