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BETTING

Fanatics Opens Retail Sportsbook at Total Mortgage Arena in Connecticut

New York vs Toronto Total Mortgage Arena
The New York and Toronto women's hockey teams face off at Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Elsa/Getty Images/AFP

Fanatics Betting & Gaming, in partnership with the Connecticut Lottery, has opened its newest retail location at the Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Make a Bet

Although there are two other sportsbooks, DraftKings and FanDuel, operating in the Connecticut betting market, only one, Fanatics, is the exclusive betting partner of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation (CLC). As part of the agreement with the CLC, Fanatics agreed to open this new sportsbook in Bridgeport as well as upgrade the other nine facilities located at the XL Center in Hartford; Bobby V’s in Stamford and Windsor Locks; Sports Haven in New Haven; Winners in Hartford, Manchester, Milford, New Britain and Waterbury.

The newest retail location at the Total Mortgage Arena is nestled in the home of the New York Islanders AHL affiliate, the Bridgeport Islanders, as well as PWHL New York of the Professional Women’s Hockey League. The entrance to the sportsbook can be found at the old Limerick Pub and its hours of operation are 11:30 AM – 10 PM seven days per week.

The 2,300 square foot sportsbook features a full food and beverage menu and features attended betting windows as well as self-service betting kiosks available for those who prefer to place their own wagers. High-definition televisions blanket the sportsbook with a betting menu that includes the NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB, college football and basketball, plus boxing, MMA, golf, tennis and a variety of other sports. Betting on in-state college teams is not allowed except in postseason tournaments like March Madness.

The Fanatics sportsbook can also be downloaded on iOS and Android devices for mobile betting throughout the state.

March Madness Big Business

According to Brad Bryant, general manager of the FanDuel Sportsbook at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, March Madness is all the rage.

“This is Super Bowl. This is actually better than Super Bowl,” Bryant. “This is where guys get together with their friends and they all come in groups of 4 to 12 people, and it’s just nonstop from when we open in the morning to when the game finishes at like midnight.”

Noting the exception to the rule with regards to betting on Connecticut college teams in postseason play, Bryant added, “This year, you’re actually able to wager on UConn, any Connecticut schools, from the time Selection Sunday happened to tonight [Tuesday] at about 6 o’clock. So, you’ve had about 48 hours to wager on UConn, and that’s brought a lot of excitement. Especially after they won last year and are defending their title. It’s been a big draw this year.”

Mobile Options and Gaming Concerns

But a trip to the sportsbook is not required to wager on professional and collegiate sporting events as it can all be accessed through mobile devices and personal computers. However, that effortless accessibility can lead to problem gambling for some.

Paul Tarbox with the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling said, “Essentially, you have a multiple braided platform in your bedroom, right? If you had to drive to a facility to take a bet or to the casino, you had time to kind of talk yourself out of it. But now, I mean, it’s literally in the palm of your hand, which is just a huge temptation for a lot (of people).”

Many of those problem gamblers are younger individuals, which is why the Public Safety Committee recently voted to put in place advertising restrictions targeting a younger demographic.

“Since the expansion of online gambling in 2021, we’ve kind of seen an overall shift in demographics where it was older people that frequented the casinos. But now it’s definitely trending towards more early adult-age males with sports betting,” Tarbox said.

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