Connecticut Restaurant’s Sports Betting Plans Hit Delay

Written By Derek Helling on April 4, 2023
legal connecticut sports betting online apps

For any business, change means risk. A new restaurant that is considering adding Connecticut sports betting to its menu might want to do some more market research after a public meeting resulted in negative feedback about the plan.

The town of Westbrook, Connecticut’s zoning commission has shelved the matter for the time being. That gives all parties involved about a month to think it over.

Sports betting could be coming to Westbrook, CT

Eric O’Connell of Zip06 reports that the owner of the forthcoming Dead Eye Saloon Restaurant in Westbrook is behind the Connecticut gambling expansion. The owner applied to the city for a zoning permit to offer sports betting via 12 self-service kiosks on the property.

According to O’Connell, the owner clarified the kiosks would occupy a separate area inside the restaurant that could open as soon as next month. The owner stated that he believes offering sports betting will allow him to run the business all year. Currently, he only plans to operate the restaurant seasonally.

The plan had some local support. The owner of a nearby dance studio contributed a letter of support.

Additionally, the city’s Planning Commission approved the proposal. The project would help the town diversify its business interest in the eyes of the members of that commission. However, it seems that the idea has some opponents as well. Those opponents were recently quite vocal.

Locals decry kiosk additions

A public hearing during a Zoning Commission meeting on March 27 did not go well for the Dead Eye. O’Connell further reports that the meeting drew a larger-than-usual crowd. Those who offered comments were “overwhelmingly arguing against the application.”

Among the points the speakers made was their belief that the inclusion of Connecticut sports betting at the restaurant would be a negative addition. Speakers said that such a development could increase crime and negatively affect the town’s young people.

After residents said their pieces, the commission members responded. They pointed out that state law, not popular opinion, determines their decisions. They did vote to table consideration, however. That decision was not due to negative feedback.

Rather, the commission said they were uncertain about whether the kiosks would fit into a city ordinance for arcade terminals. The city’s code is silent on the issue of gambling and gambling devices. The commission plans to seek guidance from the city’s attorney on the matter. Their next meeting is on April 24.

Connecticut law does allow for businesses like restaurants to offer such kiosks to customers of age. However, they must meet certain conditions. Among those is offering at least 12 such devices. Other regulations aim to prevent money laundering and underage gambling.

Whether the Dead Eye Saloon Restaurant will get to employ those devices remains up in the air. It seems many Westbrook residents are opposed to the very idea.

Photo by PlayUSA
Derek Helling Avatar
Written by
Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

View all posts by Derek Helling
Privacy Policy