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Lottery's online sports-betting launch smooth so far, officials say

Connecticut Lottery Corp. officials reported Thursday that the first two days of a weeklong "soft" launch of the lottery’s online sports-betting platform went smoothly.

“Accounts have been created, bets have been placed, deposits have been made — all without any real drama,” Rob Simmelkjaer, chairman of the lottery’s board of directors, said during a livestreamed meeting of the board.

Barring any problems, he said, a full launch of online sports betting will take place Wednesday.

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes also launched online sports-betting platforms this week on a preliminary basis, as authorized by the state Department of Consumer Protection. Each of the operators was allowed to sign up 750 patron users.

During Thursday’s lottery board meeting, Greg Smith, the lottery’s president and chief executive officer, said the lottery’s platform, operated in partnership with Rush Street Interactive, was active from 3 to 11 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, “with no issues occurring.”

Hours were to increase to noon to 11:59 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and then to a 24-hour cycle for the rest of the soft launch period.

The lottery platform generated more than $60,000 in wagers Tuesday and Wednesday, with bets ranging from a high of nearly $1,800 to a low of 10 cents, Smith said. The average bet was about $45.

Bets were placed on NCAA and NFL football, NHL preseason hockey, NBA and WNBA basketball, golf tennis and soccer, with a small number of bets placed on Russian table tennis, mixed martial arts and esports.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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