CT one step closer to building casino minutes from MGM Springfield

But members of the legislative Public Safety Committee agreed that it would be up to other leaders of the General Assembly to decide whether the state will OK a satellite casino to keep gambling jobs and disposable cash in CT as a $950 million casino destination nears completion in Springfield, Mass.

"Today's vote takes us one step closer to keeping both right here in CT", said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman Rodney Butler. The tribes claim that this new casino is needed to protect jobs at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts Casino in south-eastern CT by moderating competition from the MGM Resorts International casino now in construction in Springfield, Massachusetts.

"While my personal position hasn't changed, my position as an elected official is to support both bills", said Sen.

"It's a much bigger issue than the public safety committee and the General Assembly, and I think it's very important for us to all realize that and get it out there and keep the conversations going". MGM has said it favors a path that would open up the casino selection process to any company and allow development of a casino/resort anywhere in the state. He called risking the current revenue sharing a bad gamble.

"I would be inclined to go with the home boys", Gomes said during the brief debates on each of the bills.

The East Windsor casino would be located at the former Showcase Cinemas property off I-91, which is about 15 minutes away from MGM Springfield. The Republican co-chair of the committee, Sen. Tony Guglielmo agrees even though he is against a third casino.

MGM praised the committee for the approving the competition bill, ignoring the East Windsor measure.

A committee of state lawmakers is scheduled to vote today on bills that would authorize a third casino in the state and both were expected to pass.

The high stakes in this game have brought heavy hitting lobbyists on all sides with CT jobs and lots of state revenue at stake at a time in the state budget process when every dollar counts.

"Many people are promising many things this year", said Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman Kevin Brown said in a statement. "What we are promising is real - it's founded on an actual track record of partnership with both the state and every city and town in CT, one we hope to continue in good standing for generations to come".

  • Zachary Reyes