Connecticut Bill to Legalize Collegiate Bets and Introduce Stricter Regulations

Connecticut lawmakers are looking to expand the available betting markets while introducing stricter restrictions. The measure, outlined in File No 271, would completely change how wagering is regulated, aligning Connecticut to other stricter markets.

For example, the bill would prevent marketers from featuring celebrities and minors in gambling ads. Additionally, the bill would prohibit sports betting ads in places where the majority of viewers are presumed to be under the age of 21.

Additionally, gambling companies would be prohibited from airing content that may have a strong appeal among people who are too young to play. For context, Connecticut allows people over 18 to participate in fantasy sports and lottery games but players must be over the age of 21 to bet on sports or play casino games.

Connecticut’s new measure would furthermore ban certain affiliate marketing deals, preventing operators from teaming up with affiliate companies whose compensation depends on the volume of individuals who become patrons, the volume or amount of wagers and the outcome of wagers. This mirrors a similar change in Massachusetts.

Companies would also be prohibited from broadcasting ads that contain misleading or confusing language.

The Bill Would Allow Wagering on Local Collegiate Teams

File No 271 would also allow wagering on local collegiate teams, which was previously forbidden. However, Connecticut lawmakers have decided to ban college-player prop bets, amid calls for a nationwide ban on such products.

This change comes in the wake of the UConn Huskies’ recent triumph at March Madness. It also takes into consideration the fact that every neighboring state allows wagering on Connecticut’s college teams.

The legislation is very similar to that in Massachusetts and may create some confusion since it allows betting only on Connecticut college teams that are playing in tournaments. These competitions must involve four or more intercollegiate teams and the wagers must be based on the outcome of all games.

Rep. Vincent Candelora recently spoke on the matter, suggesting that Connecticut should first bolster its safeguards before adding new betting laws. He justified his point by pointing out recent suspicious betting incidents. However, Rep. Matt Ritter noted that the regulator was successful in identifying previous cases, meaning that the current measures are effective.

File No 271 is a substitute for House Bill 5284. It has moved through committee and is set to be discussed by the House.