Here’s what you need to know about online sports betting in CT

Online casino gaming and sports betting has been live in Connecticut since Oct. 19 and the state reported that its tax coffers gained a total of $1.7 million in about a half-month of betting under the new system, on a total of $366 million in wagers. Online casino games online were a lot bigger than sports betting: Mohegan Digital took in $123 million in wagers and paid out $119 million, while the Mashantucket Pequot tribe that operates Foxwoods attracted a larger $189.5 million, earned $4.8 million and paid out $1.2 million in promotions, for a profit of $3.6 million. 

Launched on Oct. 19, online casino gaming and sports betting had a soft launch of the new gaming system on Sept. 30. In that soft launch, the Connecticut Lottery Corp., and Mohegan Sun both reported the first-ever bets on their online platforms to be $10 on a Major League Baseball playoff game between the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta BravesFoxwoods' first online sports bet was on an NCAA football matchup between the Appalachian State Mountaineers and the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

With online gaming and sports betting taking off in Connecticut, here’s what to know about the latest addition to gaming in the state. 

What you can bet on

The temporary sportsbook at Mohegan Sun casino. An 11,000 square-foot permanent facility is expected to open in January.

The temporary sportsbook at Mohegan Sun casino. An 11,000 square-foot permanent facility is expected to open in January.

Mike Anthony / Hearst Connecticut Media

Nutmeggers ages 21 and older can place wagers on online casino games, as well as fantasy sports, professional sports and Olympic and international sports. E-sports and college sports do allow for wagers, but not if one of the participants is a Connecticut team playing in non-tournament event, according to the state’s gaming website

Where you can bet

Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn.

Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard, Conn.

File photo

As of Oct. 19, online wagering is offered through the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s online gaming partners, according to the state, which include:

Additionally, the Department of Consumer Protection has approved more than 130 games for the FanDuel and DraftKing apps. Both tribes can also offer iCasino, or online casino games. The Connecticut Lottery also offers PlaySugarHouse for sports wagering. 

Wagering may also take place in-person at either Mohegan Sun casino or Foxwoods Resort and Casino. 

It was illegal federally at one time

Zach Young, of New Haven, Conn., places a bet at one of the new sports wagering kiosks at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. Young says he's been "waiting for this day," recalling how he'd often scroll through sports betting apps he couldn't play in preparation. The unveiling of temporary sports betting venues at the state's two tribal casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, mark the first step in the rollout of Connecticut's new law legalizing sports and online wagering. (AP Photo/Susan Haigh)

Zach Young, of New Haven, Conn., places a bet at one of the new sports wagering kiosks at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. Young says he's been "waiting for this day," recalling how he'd often scroll through sports betting apps he couldn't play in preparation. The unveiling of temporary sports betting venues at the state's two tribal casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, mark the first step in the rollout of Connecticut's new law legalizing sports and online wagering. (AP Photo/Susan Haigh)

Susan Haigh / Associated Press

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which kept states from allowing sports betting on NFL, MLB, NBA and college-level sports games, according to U.S. News and World Report. Before the act was overturned, U.S. News reports that several states fought to overturn the act, starting with New Jersey.

In Connecticut, launching sports betting and online gaming has hinged on the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes’ involvement. The two tribes have separate compacts, or agreements, with the state that date back to the 1990s spelling out the percentage of revenue the tribes would contribute to the state in exchange for the rights to gaming exclusivity in Connecticut.

For online gaming and sports betting to materialize in Connecticut, the state had to amend and establish new compacts with the tribes. With the new deal, Connecticut aims to generate tens of millions of dollars in new revenues from this emerging industry, while keeping the state competitive with gaming being offered or considered in neighboring states. Among its key provisions are an 18 percent tax rate for the first five years on new online commercial casino gaming, followed by a 20 percent rate for at least the next five years. There would be a 13.75 percent tax rate on sports wagering.

Sports betting, online gambling and taxes

The sports betting area of Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., in a 2019 file photo. Connecticut regulators are racing to get a sports-wagering operation in place in time for the lucrative football season.

The sports betting area of Twin River Casino in Lincoln, R.I., in a 2019 file photo. Connecticut regulators are racing to get a sports-wagering operation in place in time for the lucrative football season.

Steven Senne / Associated Press

People wagering on the Connecticut sites must be physically located in Connecticut; GPS fencing keeps those from other states from placing bets in the state while they are in a location outside of Connecticut. Winnings earned as a result of gambling must be reported for tax reasons. 

As for the state as a whole, it expects to draw in $30 million in the first year, eventually ramping up to an estimated $100 million a year, by taxing online sports betting at 13.75 percent, and online casino games at 18 percent, rising to 20 percent after five years. 

The lottery will not pay a tax because all of its revenues after expenses move to the state’s general fund. The size of the cut and likely profits for the three online operators — FanDuel, DraftKings and Rush Street Interactives — is not public.

Separately, the lottery is setting up in-person locations for sports betting, in a partnership that includes a gaming operator and Sportech, which owns and operates off-track-betting locations around the state.

What is FoxwoodsONLINE?

Distanced chairs at the slots in Cedars Casino.

Distanced chairs at the slots in Cedars Casino.

Foxwoods / Contributed photo

According to the Foxwoods website, FoxwoodsONLINE is a desktop, smartphone or tablet online portal in which users can sign up to play in over 150 games, including slots, table games, bingo and keno. User can win Foxwoods loyalty points, the website notes, which can be used for things like hotel stays and concert tickets. According to the Google Play Store description of the gaming platform, it does not use “‘real money gambling’” or provide “an opportunity to win real money or prizes.”

What is Mohegan Sun’s Online Casino?

The Mohegan Sun Casino, November 2009.
The Mohegan Sun Casino, November 2009.
File Photo / File Photo

Mohegan Sun has an online casino mobile app and desktop platform in which users can play slot and table games such as blackjack and roulette, according to the Mohegan Sun website. The Mohegan Sun Online Casino does use real money gambling, according to the Google Play Store description of the platform, and requires an initial deposit to participate. 

How do promo codes for DraftKings and FanDuel work?
Understanding promo codes for the sports betting novice

DraftKings headquarters in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

DraftKings headquarters in Boston. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

Charles Krupa / Associated Press

Promo codes are offered for sports betting platforms such as DraftKings and FanDuel. To use the promo codes on DraftKings, users must first create an account and enter the code online or through their apps. Once they find a contest to enter, they can place a bet. Depending on the use of the promotion code, users can earn bonuses on their bet deposits or have their first bet deposit matched. 

FanDuel promotion codes work similarly; users must add the code to its adjoining app to redeem things such as a $50 match on a first deposit for FanDuel Racing or getting a first bet risk-free up to $1,000 on FanDuel Sportsbook. There are additional promotions, including a free weekly entry to NFL Fantasy contests all season for a chance to win cash prizes .

Users on either DraftKings or FanDuel should read the fine print of each promotion to ensure proper usage.

Real money v. non-real money gambling/gaming

The sports-betting lounge at Bally's casino in Atlantic City, in a 2019 file photo.

The sports-betting lounge at Bally's casino in Atlantic City, in a 2019 file photo.

Wayne Parry / Associated Press

Users that participate in online gaming and gambling on platforms offered by Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort and Casino might see the term "real money gambling" in the platform's description. 

In the FoxwoodsONLINE gaming platform, users are not engaging in "real money gambling," but instead playing to earn loyalty points, according casino's website, which can be redeemed for hotel stays or concert tickets. Mohegan Sun's online casino, however, does use actual currency and does offer the opportunity to win real money in return, according to its Google Play Store

Other apps such as FanDuel and DraftKings offer the opportunity to win real cash prizes. 

What are the state of Connecticut resources for problem gambling?

Gamblers play slot machines at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.

Gamblers play slot machines at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J.

Wayne Parry / Associated Press

The state of Connecticut offers several resources for those who might engage in problem gambling. The Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling provides a free, online live chat available Monday through Friday, according to the Department of Consumer Protection, as well as a helpline to call at  888.789.7777 or 800.346.6238.

There’s also the Problem Gambling Services program offered by the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS), which offers problem gambling recovery services and provides online self-assessments and treatment resources, according to the Department of Consumer Protection. The state also offers the Better Choice Program, the Department of Consumer Protection notes, which is a gambling-specific treatment program offered in 16 locations around the state. 

Hearst CTInsider Staff Writer Ken Dixon, politics reporter Julia Bergman and columnist Dan Haar contributed to this report.