By Anand Vasu
Governor Ned Lamont and Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner Jr. announced an agreement on March 2 that would allow the State of Connecticut to modernize gaming options available to state residents, including allowing for sports wagering and online gaming.
According to a release from the office of the Governor Lamont, the agreement will generate tens of millions of dollars in new revenue for the state, while keeping Connecticut competitive with gaming changes currently being offered or considered in neighboring states.
Key components of the agreement include a 20% tax rate on new online gaming, or “iGaming,” offerings, and a 13.75% tax rate on sports wagering.
“This agreement represents months of hard work and dedication to getting a deal that’s best for the residents of Connecticut and moves our state forward when it comes to the future of gaming,” Governor Lamont said. “We are incredibly fortunate to have such a devoted partner in these efforts like the Mohegan Tribe, as they have been open to negotiation, honest discussion, and a positive path forward that is beneficial for both their tribe and the State of Connecticut.”
Connecticut Lottery will have the right to operate 15 retail sports betting locations, as well as operate an online sports betting skin. It will also have the right to sub-license some of those locations to the state-licensed pari-mutuel operator and undertake new retail sports betting venues in Hartford and Bridgeport.
The license agreement would be for an initial period of 10 years with a provision for a five-year extension.
“The Mohegan Tribe is proud to have reached this agreement with Governor Lamont and the State of Connecticut,” Chairman Gessner said. “This path will allow Connecticut to generate tax revenues from sports and online gaming that are competitive with other states, and help keep Connecticut with those states when it comes to growing our economy and benefiting the state budget. We’re thankful to Governor Lamont and his team, and we look forward to continued work with the General Assembly as this process continues.”
Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) develops and operates integrated global resorts in the United States and overseas. It also has interests in sport, owning and running the Connecticut Suns WNBA team, and New England Black Wolves team in the National Lacrosse League.
As a sovereign nation, the Mohegan Tribe independently determines its own fate and governs its own people and affairs, and this includes providing for their people and working within their governmental, legal and cultural systems to preserve their independence.
Over the years, the United States and Connecticut governments have also defined their relationships to the Mohegan Tribal Nation.
While this does not change or challenge the independence of the Mohegan Tribal Nation, it provides a blueprint for the interaction of other political entities and governmental agencies with the tribe.
Article I Section 8 of the Constitution guarantees sovereign rights to federally recognized Indian nations. This sovereignty of American Indian tribes was also upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in decisions made in the 1800s.
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