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February figures show 'volatile business' of sports betting

Gov. Ned Lamont places the first bet as Sports Betting operators allowed patrons to place bets during a soft launch at Foxwoods Resort Casino September 30, 2021 in Ledyard, Connecticut.
Joe Amon
Connecticut Public
Gov. Ned Lamont places the first bet during a soft launch of sports betting at Foxwoods Resort Casino on Sept. 30, 2021, in Ledyard, Connecticut.

Tax payments from sports betting operators in February were the lowest yet.

The state taxes sports betting revenue each month from three master licensees: the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the Mohegan Tribe and the Connecticut Lottery. February figures were posted online March 15 and during that month, the state received $501,516. That’s $640,994 lower than the revenue from January.

February’s betting slate included Super Bowl LVI, the event the American Gaming Association said would be the game with the most dollars wagered ever.

“We had fewer selling days in February versus other months, which included a few snow days that impacted us at retail,” said Andrew Walter, the director of legal and business affairs for Connecticut Lottery Corporation’s sports betting division. “Although the Super Bowl is a great event for wagering, it is only one game.”

Connecticut sports betting operators aren’t releasing revenue figures from the big game. Walter said all the NFL playoff games in January combined outsold February’s Super Bowl. He did say that the Lottery was pleased with the February numbers.

Also in February, the tribal nations experienced their worst month since October in terms of total dollars wagered.

Anika Howard, the president of Mashantucket Pequot Interactive, said the tribal nation she represents anticipates revenue fluctuations in Connecticut, based on how other markets perform.

“Sports betting is a volatile business and still new in Connecticut,” Howard said. “This is also why we pushed for sports betting and online casino. The combination of the two offerings creates more options and ways to play — and overall is a better experience for players.”

The Mashantucket Pequots gave the state a $1,850,424 tax payment from its online casino revenue for the month of February. The Mohegan Tribe, whose representatives didn’t comment for this story, gave $1,227,796 back to the state.

The governor’s office declined to comment for this story.

Frankie Graziano is the host of The Wheelhouse, focusing on how local and national politics impact the people of Connecticut.

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