Casino Expansion Bill Advances

by Christine Stuart | Mar 16, 2018 5:40pm | Ct News Junkie

HARTFORD, CT — They heard hours of testimony Thursday about opening up the bidding process for a commercial casino in Bridgeport and scrapping a plan to build another tribal casino in East Windsor, but by Friday evening things had changed.

In order to salvage a bill, HB 5305, that would allow a commercial casino to be built in Bridgeport, supporters of the open bidding process allowed Sen. Tim Larson, D-East Hartford, to strip language from the bill that would have killed plans for the tribal casino in East Windsor.

Read the full CT News Junkie story here.

MGM Ad Blitz Irks Foes of Bridgeport Casino

By Brian Lockhart, | Connecticut Post |
Thursday, September 21, 2017

BRIDGEPORT — Cass Shaw retrieved her mail yesterday and found MGM’s glossy pitch for a new casino, hotel and entertainment complex.

It reiterated the same promises — 7,000 jobs, a $50 million license fee to the fiscally troubled state and $12.5 million worth of annual payments to Bridgeport and neighboring towns — that likely gave many elected officials and business leaders who heard them at Monday morning’s unveiling goosebumps.

“I found it depressing,” said Shaw.

Read the full Connecticut Post story here.

MGM Proposes Casino in Bridgeport

From Coalition Director Michele Mudrick:

As reported in the press this week, MGM is proposing to build a $675 million casino in Bridgeport in an effort to tap the Fairfield County and metropolitan New York markets. The MGM plan would need legislative approval, which MGM has said it might seek during the current legislative special session.

MGM has fought in court to stop the state’s move to permit Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to jointly open a commercial casino in East Windsor, and MGM’s spokesman said this week that MGM will continue its legal battle. MGM’s Bridgeport proposal represents an escalation in MGM’s effort to stop the East Windsor casino by demonstrating its willingness to invest in Bridgeport as a preferred way to expand casino gambling in Connecticut.

Governor Malloy, who supports the $300 million East Windsor casino, has expressed initial opposition to the Bridgeport casino, arguing that it would jeopardize the annual $200 million-plus the state now gets from Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun under the State-Tribal compact, and many legislative supporters of the East Windsor casino have come out against the Bridgeport proposal. At the same time, however, a number of Bridgeport and New Haven officials have come out in strong support of the Bridgeport proposal, and at least one newspaper columnist and one Bridgeport legislator have raised the possibility of a political deal that would allow both the Bridgeport and East Windsor casinos to be built without jeopardizing Foxwoods’ and Mohegan Sun’s slot sharing payments to the state.

The Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut vigorously opposed approval of the East Windsor casino, which still does not have federal Indian of Bureau Affairs Approval, and will continue to do so on the basis that its social and economic costs would heavily outweigh its benefits. The Coalition also strongly opposes the proposal for a Bridgeport casino, which would dramatically expand casino gambling in Connecticut, with even higher long-term social and economic costs to the state.

Wheeling and Dealing in Hartford

Some urban Democrats are seeking a companion bill with sweeteners, such a “boutique casino” in Hartford and slot machines in Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury.

Read the full Connecticut Mirror story here.

House Wants Tribes to Pay Licensing Fee

The Senate has voted to authorize the Pequot and Mohegan tribes to develop an off-reservation casino in East Windsor. House leaders are saying that they will go along only if the tribes pay a licensing fee for the exclusive right to expand casino gambling in Connecticut.
Read the full Hartford Courant story here:

East Windsor Attorney Urges “No” Vote

EAST WINDSOR — Ahead of Thursday night’s special town meeting in which residents will have the opportunity to vote on whether to send to a referendum a proposed ordinance regulating the licensing of gambling facilities in town, the town attorney has issued a legal opinion urging voters to reject the ordinance.

Read the full Journal Inquirer story here.

East Windsor to Hold Town Meeting

EAST WINDSOR — In the latest move in the debate over a proposed $200 million to $300 million casino in town, the Board of Selectmen voted grudgingly Thursday to schedule a town meeting that could jeopardize the project.

Read the full Journal Inquirer story here.

Fairfield County Town Governments Oppose Casino Expansion

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments has come out in opposition to the expansion of casino gambling in Connecticut.  The Council, which includes all Fairfield County towns except Bridgeport, has written a letter to Connecticut legislators citing all the high costs of casino gambling.

Read the full letter here.

Tribes win Casino Fight in Senate

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes won the first half of their home-court fight with MGM Resorts International over the rights to gaming expansion in Connecticut as the Senate voted 24-12 early Wednesday for a bill authorizing the tribes to jointly develop the state’s first casino off tribal lands.

Read the full Connecticut Mirror store here.

Bob Steele and Tony Hwang: Push for Bridgeport Casino Raises Red Flags

Connecticut Post, March 16, 2017

By former Congressman Robert Steele and state Sen. Tony Hwang

Bridgeport is again in play for a casino, but the casino market and our knowledge of the way casinos impact communities have changed dramatically in the 22 years since Steve Wynn and Donald Trump fought each other for the right to open a casino in the Park City.

The renewed interest in Bridgeport stems from MGM’s effort to block the tribal owners of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun from obtaining legislative approval to jointly open an off-reservation, commercial “convenience” casino in northern Connecticut that would compete with the MGM mega-casino being built in Springfield. MGM is urging the legislature to kill the tribes’ proposed casino and instead lure developers to bid on building a larger casino in southwestern Connecticut. The MGM proposal, which clearly has Bridgeport in mind, has been gaining traction with significant numbers of legislators.

 Read the complete CtPost article . . .