Legal Sports Betting in Connecticut

Ryan Wilson O'Connor

Ryan O'Connor, Author and Photographer

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Two sides face off as the CT state legislature prepares to duke it out over legal sports betting. Following the recent Supreme Court ruling on May 14, sports related gambling such as sports wagers and daily fantasy sports will be legal. The court ruled that individual state assemblies can vote on whether to legalize sports betting. States such as Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi quickly seized the opportunity, while some states like Connecticut remain weary.

 

To many citizens of Connecticut, legalizing is a no brainer- We can help the economy and provide a legal setting for betting in Connecticut. After all, CT faces a 240 million dollar deficit as of 2018 according to Keith Phaneuf of the CT Mirror. The taxes from sports betting would act as a cash injection into our deprived economy, and erase a few million dollars in debt. One West Hartford mother, Melissa Wilson sees lots of upside in a bill legalizing sports betting. Wilson states, “I don’t see why it shouldn’t be legal. I mean people bet on sports anyways. This would just make it profitable.” Wilson’s sentiment echo the thoughts of many living in the state.

 

One of the caveats of the issue is how to legalize due to the fact that sports betting can take place in both physical locations, and on mobile platforms. While more difficult to regulate, mobile betting such as smart phone apps will provide the most profit because mobile is the most accessible for everyday citizens. Joe Verrengia, a West Hartford councilman on a committee that oversees gambling states, “Without question, any sports betting would have to include a mobile platform… That’s where the money is. That’s the reality.”

 

For most, the decision to legalize is a no brainer, yet some still have their reservations. Many will wonder, “Why should I support this legislation if I won’t be gambling?” Well the answer is simple: The millions of taxable dollars at stake. We have a rare opportunity to increase Connecticut’s GDP and provide a legal channel for an otherwise illicit behavior. In my opinion the skeptical citizen should ask “Why not support this legislation?” instead.

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Legal Sports Betting in Connecticut