Foxwoods partners with DraftKings despite no sports betting
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — One of Connecticut’s two tribal casinos on Monday announced a partnership with the sports betting company DraftKings, even though the state has still not enacted legislation that would legalize online gambling on sports.
The DraftKings and Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is owned and operated by the federally recognized Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said the arrangement was “setting the stage to deliver access to online sports betting” in anticipation of legislative and regulatory approvals in Connecticut.
“We’ve proven our ability to shape the future of gaming time and time again, and now we’re ready to drive sports wagering and online gaming for the state of Connecticut,” said Rodney Butler, the tribe’s chairman, in a written statement.
Both Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegan Tribe have urged the Connecticut General Assembly for years to enact legislation that would allow them to offer sports betting. Emails obtained by The Associated Press indicated that Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont in 2019 thought he was close to reaching a wide-ranging gambling agreement with the tribes, but the deal ultimately fell apart amid concerns MGM Resorts would challenge any exclusive arrangement with the tribes in court and other issues.
Lamont said Monday he’s in discussions with the tribes once again and still hopes to come up with a deal that avoids costly litigation and protects Connecticut’s share of slot machine revenues generated at the two tribal casinos, which could be at risk if the state allows another entity to offer sports betting.
“I want to put forward something that’s going to work. It doesn’t result in litigation. It gets us off the dime.” he said. “We’ve been talking about this for close to a decade in this state and frankly the whole world is moving virtual and that includes the gaming industry. And I think Connecticut ought to participate and it be led by the tribes.”
The General Assembly is scheduled to convene on Jan. 6.