The Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) has signed a deal with a sportsbook, Kambi Group plc, to offer online and on-site betting options for the Mohegan Sun, MGE’s featured entertainment resort in Uncasville, Conn.
Connecticut has yet to legal sports betting. But this agreement, signed March 27, should alter the landscape and speed up the conversation for lawmakers to make sports gambling an option in the state.
MGE selected the Kambi Group for its “track record of lawful and responsible delivery in the U.S., including the quality and flexibility of its sports wagering products, trading and risk management capabilities and unrivalled speed to market – both online and on-property,” according to an MGE press release.
The Kambi group has a top spot in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania and has been a steady presence in American sports gambling since May, when the Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Kambi also controls and operates sportsbooks in Nevada, Europe, Latin America and Asia.
The Mohegan Sun “supports pending state legislation to legalize the activity as early as this year,” according to the press release.
The Kambi Group’s main sportsbook will be worked into the Mohegan Sun immediately via the iPro Gaming platform. The free sportsbook lets hotel guests test the system before everything is fully implemented with real money in the future.
“Mohegan Sun’s goal is to utilize our brand and strong presence in the state and after a long vetting process, we found that Kambi was best positioned to complement that, as they’re the most sophisticated and comprehensive Sportsbook out there,” MGE Vice President of Interactive Gaming Aviram Alroy said.
”That, along with a highly experienced and responsive team, placed Kambi well above the competition in the selection of a sports betting strategic partner in Connecticut.”
The Mohegan tribe is one of two Native American tribes operating commercial casinos in Connecticut. The casino in Uncasville is on 3.5 million square feet of property.
The Mohegan Sun, launched in 1996, was most recently renovated in 2016 and is home to the WNBA’s Connecticut Sun, who play in the Mohegan Sun Arena inside the casino resort.
Sports betting legislation failed to pass in 2018 in Connecticut. A bill in January laid out some groundwork for the Mohegan Sun and the other Native American tribe casino, the Foxwoods Resort Casino.
According to a Hartford Business report, the bipartisan bill would offer exclusive sports betting to the two existing casinos. Other proposals would let off-tracking betting sites and the Connecticut Lottery provide services for eligible bettors.
But any attempt to make sports betting legal in the state would first require renegotiations with the two tribes regarding exclusivity for commercial casino games.
Gov. Ned Lamont didn’t include the legalization of sports betting in his proposed $43 billion, two-year state budget, according to Hartford Business. While campaigning last year, Lamont said he favored legal sports betting.