Sportech Venues Inc., which is the exclusive licensee of Connecticut’s off-track betting system, is launching a professional site search as it plans to upgrade three of its venues, including the OTB at Shoreline Star Greyhound Park at 255 Kossuth St. in Bridgeport.
“Upgrade” in this case likely means finding entirely new venues, Sportech President Ted Taylor told the Business Journal.
“It’s a matter of replacing these three locations with new places that fit the 21st century,” Taylor said, referring to the company’s locations in New Haven and Hartford. “Absolutely we think Bridgeport will be a part of that – we’ve been looking there for some time.”
Sportech has engaged Newmark’s Executive Managing Director Cory Gubner and Director Alex Haendler to oversee the search in the three cities. The company is looking for 15,000-square-foot venues.
Taylor said estimating the cost of those venues – which Sportech hopes to have ready for business within 18 months – depends on whether they involve refurbishments or rebuilding.
The idea behind the three new operations would be to bring them in line with Sportech’s Bobby V’s Restaurant & Sports Bar locations in Stamford and at Bradley Airport in Windsor Locks.
“We want to focus on the new and do it properly,” Taylor said of the move. “We want to have great audio/visual components to make it a better experience.”
Sportech is also trying to convince Connecticut lawmakers that it should have at least part of the state’s blessing to operate sports betting, iLottery and online gaming in Connecticut.
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, which operate Connecticut’s two casinos, maintain that they have the exclusive right to such ventures. The Connecticut Lottery Corp. is also looking for a piece of the action.
“There hasn’t been any progress there” since a Jan. 28 hearing before the Public Safety and Security Committee, Taylor said, noting that the committee’s next meeting takes place tomorrow. “We’re hoping for more clarity then.”
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