Democrats in Connecticut's General Assembly are preparing for the potential of allowing sports gambling in the state.
Currently, most states, including Connecticut, are prohibited by federal law from state-sanctioned sports gambling. But late last year, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Christie v. NCAA, a case that questions whether that federal law supersedes a New Jersey law that allows sports gambling.
If the Supreme Court rules in New Jersey's favor, it could potentially bring sports gaming to every state. Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said Connecticut needs to be ready.
“Instead of sitting in the dugout, we want to be in the on-deck circle,” Aresimowicz told reporters, “We need to have everything in place. This is too big of an issue to leave sitting on the table.”
Aresimowicz said he's not sure what sports gambling will look like in Connecticut, but he's hoping to have a better idea when the legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee holds a forum on sports gaming Thursday with representatives of the NBA, MLB, and the sports gaming industry.
Aresimowicz estimates sports gaming could bring in $40 to $80 million a year for the state when it’s up and running.
The justices are expected to rule in the case in the coming months. In the meantime, legislative leaders have directed the Department of Consumer Protection to preemptively come up with a set of guidelines and regulations for sports betting in the state.