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Connecticut Democrats Pushing to Legalize Sports Betting & Cannabis for More Cash

Connecticut Democrats are putting forward some controversial new bills to raise money in the state. Reportedly, they’re hoping to revive sports betting laws and legalize cannabis to raise funds for a transportation plan. Governor Ned Lamont (D) has put forward the transportation plan, but the state needs funding to get things off the ground. After the original gambling bill stalled during the special legislative session, things seemed dire for Connecticut Democrats.

Still, the new transportation scheme could provide the necessary motivation to discuss other revenue-gathering means. Currently, the only suggestion is to add 14 new tolls to bridges within the state. Since the next election year is nearly upon us, Connecticut Democrats really don’t want to explain new tolls to taxpayers and lose valuable votes. Thus, they need to find alternative funding resources.

Connecticut Democrats Bill

Connecticut Democrats Need Solutions

Lamont’s new plan will take 10 years to complete with a price tag of $21.3 billion. In terms of toll money, that’s a lot of anger for residents and tourists. With Connecticut Democrats’ suggestion of cannabis and sports betting, things could be easier on constituents’ pockets. Conversely, the Republican plan suggests a $18 billion price tag. However, it doesn’t mention gaming revenue as a source.

While they do allow two tribal gaming casinos operated by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, sports betting is a big question mark. According to reports, the Connecticut Lottery and off-track-betting entities want in on it. Moreover, sports betting could bring in $30 million to $40 million for the state. With voter approval already in play, the stakeholders are proving to be a problem.

Standalone Legislation Needed for Sports Betting

One possible solution for the stalemate would be to make separate laws for sports betting. All Connecticut Democrats need to do is to gain traction for the idea. This heavy lifting will need to include provisions for the tribes, Lottery and commercial operators. Since they are bordered by New York and New Jersey, precedents set by both states could be motivational as well.

Still, we’re not holding our hopes for quick action in Connecticut. After all, the state has a well-established history of taking a long time to do anything. So, keep visiting for updates on this story.