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Senate expected to vote on sports betting, gambling bill


State Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, was elevated from vice chair to temporary chair of the committee and was expected to handle Tuesday night’s debate.

The Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association has raised concerns about the bill, warning that thousands of Connecticut residents who play fantasy sports for money using online companies could be sidelined for the upcoming NFL season if legislation as currently written becomes law. The group said the legislation will not allow any fantasy sports companies to continue operating in Connecticut after July 1 and until the state sets up a licensing system and these firms are ultimately approved for a license.

Fantasy sports companies have been operating in the state for years.

Asked about the industry’s criticism, Paul Mounds, Lamont’s chief of staff who led the negotiations on the gambling bill, said Monday the legislation will ensure fantasy sports can be legally played in the state.

“We look forward to having continuous conversations with entities in the daily fantasy space as Connecticut looks to solidify and finalize the legalization of daily fantasy sports in the state of Connecticut,” he said.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said he looked forward to the legislation passing in the Senate. Butler has been urging the General Assembly for years to pass legislation that legalizes sports betting and internet gambling in Connecticut.

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