Gov. Dannel P. Malloy: Sports betting agreement is possible
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Thursday “it’s possible” he can reach an agreement on legalizing sports betting for Connecticut lawmakers to consider in a special legislative session, but it’s unclear whether a vote will be taken before the Democrat leaves office.
Malloy met with legislative leaders behind closed doors to update them on discussions he and his administration have had with the state’s two federally recognized tribes and other gambling entities recent weeks.
“I think it’s possible that an agreement could be reached and legislative action could be called upon,” Malloy said. “In the last few weeks, real action has taken place.”
Malloy said the talks have focused on issues such as who could operate any sports betting in Connecticut, how they would operate it and what sports people could place bets on. Malloy said the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, who own and operate Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun respectively, would be on the list of potential vendors.
A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision has cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting. But unlike many other states, Connecticut needs to be careful not to legalize something that could risk an existing revenue-sharing agreement it has with the tribes. Both currently have exclusive rights to certain forms of gambling under that arrangement.
Malloy noted that any new gambling agreement with the tribes would require approval from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, a process that could add a potential 90-day delay to legalized sports betting. That comes as neighboring states consider legalizing sports betting.
Democratic Senate President Martin Looney of New Haven said the likelihood of a special legislative session depends on what happens with Malloy’s discussions. The new regular session begins in January.