Wagering on UConn games soon? You can 'bet' on it

You can bet on almost anything at the popular sports bar – except Connecticut college teams. When lawmakers approved sports wagering three years ago, in-state schools were excluded – at UConn's request.

John Craven

Mar 22, 2024, 9:41 PM

Updated 30 days ago

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March Madness is in full swing! But if you want to bet on UConn or Yale, you're out of luck. Wagering on in-state teams is banned.
Now, there's a push to change that at the state Capitol.
BETTING BAN
Fans packed into Bobby V's in Stamford Friday afternoon to watch the Huskies and the Bulldogs in the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.
"Here to watch some college basketball," said Mike Nocerino, of Fairfield. "Here for the tournament. Watching UConn in a couple of hours."
You can bet on almost anything at the popular sports bar – except Connecticut college teams. When lawmakers approved sports wagering three years ago, in-state schools were excluded – at UConn's request.
"The population of 18 to 22 year-olds is more vulnerable and more accessible than professional athletes, making them easy targets for people aiming to influence game outcomes and harass them," UConn associate athletic director Neal Eskin told lawmakers in March 2021.
DROPPING THE BAN?
But soon, the rules could soon change. State lawmakers are now looking at dropping the in-state betting ban.
"It's time to get away with it," said Sam Iverson, a fan from White Plains, N.Y. "Kids are getting paid in college now; everybody's making money. There's not a lot of sense to leave it in place."
The Legislature's Public Safety and Security Committee quietly advanced the change with little advance warning on Tuesday. If lawmakers ultimately approve it, you could bet on who wins – but probably not make in-game wagers.
"It clearly prohibits prop betting," said state Rep. Pat Boyd (D-Pomfret), the committee's co-chair. "But it tries to clarify the language around sports betting as a whole that lines up with some of the NCAA recommendations."
Fans said the existing restrictions don't work anyway.
"All you have to do is, just call a friend who has Draft Kings in New York, and then they'll put the bet in for you," said Nocerino.
The measure now moves to the full Connecticut House of Representatives. The 2024 session ends on May 8.


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