Foxwoods supports sports betting legalisation

Credits: Elite Meetings
Credits: Elite Meetings

The casino resort submitted a written testimony to the Legislature and said that it is in favor of legalising the sports betting industry.

US.- Foxwoods Resort Casino is reportedly in favour of bringing sports betting to Connecticut. A public hearing on expanded gaming took place on Thursday and the company submitted a written testimony that said that online gaming might be the strongest opportunity for the state.

Seth Young, Foxwoods’ executive director of online gaming, said: “As we see it, the strongest opportunity for the state is in legalising statewide iGaming, another activity that is currently operating for Connecticut residents in the black market today.” The tribal casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and its rival Mohegan Tribal already operates online gaming in New Jersey.

“Since iGaming was introduced in New Jersey in 2013, New Jersey has collected more than US$126m in tax revenue. We project the revenue opportunity for iGaming in Connecticut to be greater than the revenue opportunity for sports gambling. Based on our estimates coupled with a pragmatic tax rate, over the course of five years Connecticut stands to collect roughly US$87m in tax revenue from iGaming, at a rate starting at roughly US$14.25m in year one, escalating to roughly US$20m in year five,” added Young.

Young said in the written testimony that a study by the iDevelopment and Economic Association estimates 3,374 full-time equivalent jobs were created in New Jersey directly or indirectly since the introduction of iGaming in 2013. The regulated New Jersey iGaming market has had no reports of replacing people with computer servers. “In fact, dozens of jobs were created directly as required by regulation, along with hundreds of additional jobs to support the market. Further, as iGaming revenue has proven to be incremental to land-based operations, it is more likely that additional jobs will be created within a casino to manage both an online business and to address the needs of the brick-and-mortar establishment because of the online offering.”

Furthermore, Young was quick to highlight the fact that online gaming could benefit Connecticut’s casinos: “There are strong ancillary benefits of a legalised, state-wide online gaming program for land-based casinos, and by proxy the state of Connecticut. iGaming has shown to be incremental – not cannibalistic – to land-based gaming revenue, with data showing that iGaming encourages increased visitation to land-based properties. In fact, in 2016 Atlantic City casinos turned around from a decade-long decline in gaming revenue, and the overall Atlantic City casino market grew by 2.2% from 2016 to 2017.”

“We submit that iGaming is a valuable asset that can be leveraged, with the potential ancillary benefit of increasing slot revenue to the state.”

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