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Since the May 2018 repeal of PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992), the legalization of Sports Betting has been a hotter topic than the number one NFL Draft pick each year.
In reality, legal betting has a long history in Connecticut and the State’s licensed operator of betting, Sportech Venues, has been driving some of the more progressive and innovative betting developments in Connecticut to date.
Let’s start from the beginning.
In 1976, Connecticut introduced legal betting on the sports of racing and jai alai through a network of off-track betting venues – the Connecticut OTB – which operated as an agency of State government, much as the lottery does today.
In 1993 the State privatized the OTB and sold the entire operation – and the sole license to offer pari-mutuel betting – to Autotote Enterprises, Inc. The business grew from there, offering patrons a menu of races from tracks located across North America as well as innovations that enhanced the user experience, including race video, a player rewards program, self-service wagering, and telephone wagering.
In 2010, the company changed hands, having been acquired by Sportech Venues, Inc., and a new era of innovation and investment in this proud Connecticut business began.
Investing in Connecticut
Sportech immediately set out to invest in the venues’ physical spaces, with tens of millions spent in upgrades to facilities and furnishings, the latest audiovisual technology, and new betting devices.
Sportech’s parent company, an international corporation with clients in 38 countries, also chose Connecticut as its North American headquarters despite also having major operations in New Jersey and Georgia. Sportech established corporate functions and created professional careers in human resources, accounting, legal and marketing from its New Haven headquarters.
In 2014, Sportech launched its MyWinners.com website and mobile app, becoming the first and only licensed operator to offer online betting in Connecticut.
The company also introduced a new concept for betting and entertainment in Connecticut with the opening of the first Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Windsor Locks. Established in collaboration with baseball luminary and proud Connecticut native Bobby Valentine, the new Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar elevated the standard for gaming entertainment in Connecticut beyond the two successful casinos. It provided an upscale sports bar environment custom designed for the enjoyment of racing and sports, along with offering betting on racing and other approved sports.
In 2017 Sportech invested a further $12 million to establish a second Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar in Stamford, offering the world’s best racing and sports on over 250 large screens in two levels of custom dining, viewing and betting entertainment space.
Sportech has invested tens of millions of dollars in facilities, people and technologies, generated over $100 million in taxes to Connecticut, provided further millions to responsible gaming funds, and never took a dollar from the State. Sportech is genuinely a proud partner of the State.
The Future of Betting in Connecticut
We are honored with the ties we have forged in Connecticut – the contribution our small company generates to State revenues; the strong local partnerships we have built; the millions of dollars we have delivered to responsible gaming agencies in the State; and the employment of hundreds of Connecticut residents, especially in these challenging times.
As Sportech enters its second decade of ownership of the Connecticut OTB, and the operation enjoys nearly 30 years as an independent operator, we are encouraged by the possibility of fair gaming expansion, specifically the legalization of Sports Betting, because betting – quite simply – is what we do! To learn more about Sportech and about legalized Sports Betting in Connecticut, visit www.sportsbettingforct.com.
Sportech Venues, Inc. holds the exclusive in perpetuity license to conduct pari-mutuel wagering in Connecticut and operates wagering venues and sports bars under the brands Winners and Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar and is also Connecticut’s exclusive home for legal online betting on racing at www.MyWinners.com. At Sportech, we pride ourselves on operating at the highest levels of integrity and working with governing bodies, regulators and official sporting bodies to provide sustainable and socially responsible betting. A portion of every dollar wagered with Winners goes to the Connecticut General Fund, to local municipal tax funds and to funds for responsible gaming. To learn more visit www.mywinners.com or www.sportechplc.com.
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