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 . . .

Catholics Bishops Oppose More Casinos

Catholic bishops representing all four dioceses in Connecticut have spoken out in opposition to the expansion of casino gambling in our state. In a statement dated March 9 the bishops offered “a perspective based on the wisdom our tradition” and concluded “in light of the negative consequences that can result in a society already burdened by so many social problems we are strongly opposed to the expansion of casino gambling in Connecticut.”

Read their full statement here.

Courant Says More Gambling Is a Bad Bet

Editorial | November 12, 2014

It’s not hard to understand why the owners of Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun are worried that a new casino in Springfield, Mass., will lure some of our state’s gamblers.

Do the math: Hartford to Uncasville, 46 miles. Hartford to Springfield, 26 miles. Who wouldn’t pick the shorter driving distance?

Their solution — applauded by some in the legislature — is to add more in-state gaming facilities. It’s a terrible idea. The state needs to wean itself off its addiction to gambling revenues.

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Banned from Casino

By Sean Murphy | Globe Staff  JANUARY 30, 2017

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. — On the edge of a vast casino, David Schreiber played video poker at a frenetic pace — fast enough to place almost 50 bets a minute. Beat, pause, beat-beat, pause. Over and over again.

An admitted compulsive gambler, Schreiber was not supposed to be here on the gambling floor at Foxwoods Resort Casino. Three years ago, distraught over his gambling losses, he asked the Indian-owned casino to ban him for life, a desperate step he hoped would save him from himself.

Foxwoods, like most casinos, keeps a “voluntary self-exclusion” list of compulsive gamblers who sign an agreement that they would be denied entry or ejected from the premises, and denied rights to winnings. Casinos, responding to critics, point to the program as evidence that they are responsible institutions.

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