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Will Connecticut's Gubernatorial Candidates Push To Legalize Sports Betting?




Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had initially called for a special legislative session to be held on sports betting, but negotiations with Connecticut’s two tribes, who want to offer sports betting at their casinos and believe they have exclusive rights to sports gambling, ended when the legislature decided not to move forward on the issue.

Are the candidates vying to be Connecticut’s next governor in favor of legalizing sports betting?

That’s another query we received through our Connecticut Crossroads project, in which readers submit questions about the race for governor. If we don’t immediately know the answers, we will ask the candidates and come back with the answers.

John Gasparini asked: “The Supreme Court has voted to give states the right to set up gambling facilities on various sports. When will the state set these facilities up, and what will the state do with the extra revenue?”

As John points out, a Supreme Court ruling this summer paved the way for states to legalize sports betting. Several have already taken advantage, including New Jersey and Delaware.


Gov. Dannel P. Malloy had initially called for a special legislative session to be held on sports betting, but negotiations with Connecticut’s two tribes, who want to offer sports betting at their casinos and believe they have exclusive rights to sports gambling, ended when the legislature decided not to move forward on the issue.

Sports Betting Off The Table This Year In Connecticut »

In August, Malloy and legislative leaders said it would be up to the next governor and General Assembly to tackle sports betting. So where do the men vying to replace Malloy stand on the issue?

“Look, it’s not the future of the state, but it’s not something I’m going to stand in the way of,” Democrat Ned Lamont told reporters in May. “They’re gambling everyday online, it’s a new world, it’s an Internet-based world right now, so is Connecticut going to play in the world or not? I think we are.”

Lamont went further in September, offering the revenue from sports betting as a way to pay for expanding the property tax credit.

“I gotta show we’re gonna have a significant cut in property taxes and how I pay for it,” he said. “So it’ll be a priority for me first thing next year.”

Republican Bob Stefanowski agrees with Lamont that Connecticut should move toward legalizing sports betting as a way to bring in additional money for the state.

“We need to look at it further,” he said in September. “It's just starting to come out. Unfortunately, Dan Malloy has left us with a situation that we can’t rule too many things out, and if it's gonna happen in the country anyway, then we need to look at how to control it and get some revenue out of it.”


Independent candidate Oz Griebel, who petitioned his way onto the ballot, said he would seek to negotiate a deal with the tribes that ultimately would lead to legal sports betting.

If you have a question about the governor’s race that you’d like The Courant to answer, visit www.courant.com/ctcrossroads and submit it.

This article is a reprint from Courant.com.  To view the original story and comment, click here.