Connecticut Lottery retail sports betting takes nearly $100m in handle during 2022

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The operator of the Connecticut Lottery’s retail sports betting operations has revealed that almost $100m was wagered in brick-and-mortar lottery venues across the state. 

Sportech, the lottery’s retail sportsbook partner, revealed that players in the state wagered $98.7m during 2022. As part of its financial report last year, the company described its operations in Connecticut as “a successful rollout” since penning the deal in September 2021. 

Across the eight approved venues in CT, Sportech reported that $98.7m was wagered, with a hold rate of 9.4%, which was stronger than expected, driven by 40% of bets being parlays. 

Providing flesh on the bones of the deal, Sportech stated: “Our business relationship with the CLC, continues to strengthen and we have progressed a new agreement with CLC, providing a further commitment to building on the early success of Sports Betting across the State. 

“During 2022, one non-performing location was closed and certain leases were extended to meet demand and secure the profitable estate. Whilst the significant New Haven lease was extended to February 2024, it is expected that the business will move out of this property to a new venue in the vicinity, to maintain betting handle growth. 

“Additionally, two new locations are being evaluated that would provide pari-mutuel and sports betting product suite to more Connecticut retail consumers and in doing so will create the blueprint for a future Venue model for the business.”

Across its portfolio, Sportech disclosed that MLB was the key driver of handle, whilst NFL, NCAAF also contributed significantly to betting volume and value. 

The World Cup, too, also contributed significantly toward betting handle, despite its weaker prevalence in the US compared to other regions. 

Sportech also noted January and February 2023 saw 33% and 18% betting handle growth respectively vs 2022 as the Connecticut sports betting business continues to grow. 

This news comes at a time when the Connecticut Lottery is looking for a new online sports betting partner after splitting ties from Rush Street Interactive last month. 

The lottery issued an RfP recently, seeking to collaborate with a partner for eight years, extendable to 13 years, to provide online sports betting, but crucially not online casino on the lottery’s behalf.

It has previously been speculated that the lottery will seek a white-label partner, given that the partner cannot use a brand used by any entity operating a physical casino worldwide.

Other lottery-operated sports betting ventures have opted for the white-label solution, such as DC Lottery and Rhode Island Lottery. 

There is no indication on any official level that Sportech would seek to operate the online side of Connecticut Lottery’s sports betting venture, instead, the UK-based betting and tech firm is focused on growing its retail division.

Providing insight into its 2023 plans, Sportech concluded: “Sport and capturing the wagering revenues of its followers is clearly the opportunity for the Venues business and we continue to reshape the business accordingly.

“Management has developed a retail brand and experience format optimizing the mix of formats and locations of venues to further enhance and better capture the sports betting market without detraction from the mainstay earnings of pari-mutuel betting.

“We see the most promising signs of improvement in bar and restaurant formats, which cater to sports patrons and offer a close-to-live game experience for customers.”