Conn. Bill Backing Tribes' 3rd Casino Heads To Governor

Connecticut State Capitol  Wikimedia Commons
Connecticut State Capitol Wikimedia Commons

09 June, 2017

Aresimowicz said the plan is to approve the Senate casino bill, which passed by a 2-1 vote on May 24, without changes.

These proposals come days before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its regular legislative session at midnight on Wednesday.

The state is now looking at a projected $5 billion deficit over the upcoming two fiscal years, and leaders from both parties and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy have refrained from increases to income and sales taxes as part of their proposals.

The House of Representatives voted in favour of the gaming expansion bill, with the decision coming only a few hours after a deal including more off-track betting parlours across the state of CT was reached.

Contending that that the company's goal has always been to have the chance to compete to do business in the state, MGM officials added that they will continue to legally challenge the measure, which cleared the Connecticut House early Wednesday and now heads to Gov. Dannel Malloy for consideration.

"Our state has a longstanding partnership and compact with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations, who employ thousands of CT residents in their casinos".

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"There was a lot of workers out in the hall for the past couple of months talking about their ability to provide for their families", said House Speaker Rep. Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin).

MGM has pushed aggressively for open bidding to expand casino gambling in the state.

The two tribes operate Connecticut's Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, respectively.

During the almost two-hour debate that started at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, there was an acknowledgement that no matter what happens the state of CT will end up in court because it gave the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations exclusivity over gaming at a facility off tribal land. He says lawmakers are still negotiating an alternative gambling-related bill.

The MGM Resorts casino that's now under construction in the western MA city of Springfield will likely face competition from another casino just 16 miles away. The gambling venue will aim to be a direct competitor to the $950-million resort Las Vegas casino giant MGM Resorts International is now building in neighboring MA. The first $4.5 million in slots revenue would be set aside for annual grants of $750,000 to each of six communities: Hartford, East Hartford, Ellington, Enfield, South Windsor and Windsor Locks.

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