Tribal supporters, MGM seek to be part of sports betting

Various factions have begun angling to get a piece of the action if Connecticut pushes ahead with legalizing sports gambling in the new legislative session, which opens Wednesday.

The southeastern Connecticut legislative delegation said it has submitted bipartisan legislation to amend state law and allow online and in-person sports betting at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino. They argue it makes sense to let the tribes operate any new operation, given the long-standing relationship the state has with the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots.

Meanwhile, an executive from MGM Resorts International said Tuesday the casino company wants to take Democratic Governor-elect Ned Lamont up on his recent proposal to meet with the tribes and MGM on the sports betting issue.


‘‘We agree that such a discussion is in the state’s best interest, and we are prepared to take him up on his suggestion immediately,’’ said Uri Clinton, senior vice president and legal counsel for MGM Resorts.

Other entities are also expected to weigh in on what, if anything, the General Assembly proposes in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling that cleared the way for states to legalize sports betting. Officials from the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, for example, last year testified they were prepared to operate sports betting in a regulated and safe environment for gamblers.

House minority leader Themis Klarides, Republican from Derby, said Tuesday that many details need to be ironed out before a decision can be made as to what path Connecticut will take when it comes to sports betting. There have also been questions about whether allowing someone other than the tribes to offer sports betting would violate a revenue-sharing agreement they have with the state.