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Connecticut Sports Betting Regulations: Potential Changes Ahead

Might Connecticut bettors soon to able to wager on in-state colleges? State lawmakers are considering a new bill that would give them that opportunity.

House Bill 5284 includes new regulations for how sports betting can be marketed, along with revisions on what can be wagered.

Current rules prohibit betting on in-state schools such as UConn and Yale. Other states, including Virginia, have similar restrictions for sports betting online. But if some state lawmakers get their wish, that could soon change.

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HB 5284, which has already been approved by the Public Safety and Security Commission, targets loosening those rules. Individual NCAA player prop bets, however, will remain banned.

The bill is still awaiting further attention in the House, so changes — if any — aren’t expected to happen overnight. But clearly, the wheels are in motion to revise the betting options in the Nutmeg State. Here’s a closer look at the other potential changes in store to Connecticut sports betting regulations.

Third-Party Marketing a Central Focus

In Connecticut, individuals must be at least 21 years of age to play online casino games or wager on sports. Meanwhile, the minimum age for the state lottery is only 18.

Under HB 5284 are new rules for how these games are marketed, including specific restrictions on ads with “images, symbols, celebrity or entertainer endorsements, or language” targeting people under those age limits.

There are also specific rules about third-party marketing. The bill allows so-called affiliate marketing, which to this point has been restricted in Connecticut. That has raised concerns from some groups that say it could become too expensive to compensate marketers.

“If marketing affiliates were to be compensated just on click-throughs without the additional step of having the patron create an account and place a minimum deposit in that account, those marketing affiliates would logically focus their strategy on targeting the largest number of individuals including people who aren’t interested in sports betting,” Arthur Mongillo, CT Lottery’s public affairs manager, said via Hartford Business Journal. “Connecticut’s the only state in the country with legalized and regulated sports betting that has basically excluded affiliate marketing from the industry because they banned all of the economically feasible forms of compensation.”

Legislators could always choose to revisit this topic next year should the concerns become too great.

Additional Costs a Concern

CT Lottery regulators are challenging part of the bill that requires lottery games to be vetted and tested by independent third parties. The concern, according to Mongillo, is that the state Department of Consumer Protection already conducts its own testing, and additional oversight would only drive up the cost of operations.

Discussions on this topic are sure to continue.

Betting Options Remain Limited

Online sports betting has been legal in Connecticut since Sept. 30, 2021. Despite that, bettors still have a limited list of operations from which to choose. Industry leaders DraftKings and FanDuel are the state’s main operators. There’s also Fanatics Sportsbook, which recently replaced PlaySugarHouse as the state’s third sports betting app.

On top of that, Connecticut is home to multiple brick-and-mortar locations, including Mohegan Sun in Uncasville and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard.

Current Connecticut sports betting regulations prohibit bettors from wagering on in-state colleges. Thus, residents must travel outside state lines to bet any sports involving UConn, Yale, Quinnipiac, and other neighboring schools. UConn men’s basketball has become a big draw in the NCAA Tournament the past two seasons.

Stay tuned for more updates involving Connecticut sports betting regulations.

For betting news, odds, analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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