Connecticut House Approves Commercial Casino Proposal

Posted June 09, 2017

These proposals come days before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its regular legislative session at midnight on Wednesday. The bill, which already passed in the Senate, now heads to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

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. The casino bill was previously voted in the state Senate. The Connecticut Mirror reports that the bill passed in a lopsided vote of 103-46. The so-called "satellite casino" which development had been put under consideration was aimed to be located between Hartford and Springfield as a worthy competitor of the MGM Springfield gaming resort that is planned to be officially opened in 2018.

A third tribal casino in CT is getting closer to becoming a reality.

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Lawmakers voted 77-72 early Wednesday morning in favor of the proposal, which expands the number of off-track betting locations across the state and requires the Department of Consumer Protection to set up a framework for possible sports betting.

The Connecticut House of Representatives seems no nearer to a conclusion on expanding gambling in the state, and House Speaker Democrat Joe Aresimowicz said he doesn't see the issue making it to a special session.

The two tribes operate Connecticut's Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos, respectively. Some legislators supported the tribes' proposal in an effort to protect jobs at their southeastern CT casinos and other lawmakers wanted to create an open casino bidding process that could lead to other casino developers possibly building gambling facilities elsewhere in CT.

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The two-bill package would create an entertainment sharing agreement between the state's two federally recognized tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan, and several entertainment venues around the state.

The tribes' deal has produced $7 billion for the state since 1993 and is projected to be worth about $260 million this year, but it has been shrinking since hitting a high of $430 million in 2007 and is expected to continue to fall once MGM Springfield opens. He says lawmakers are still negotiating an alternative gambling-related bill. It also alleged the act violates the Constitution's Commerce Clause by restricting the RFP process to a joint company formed by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes.

The Springfield MGM casino is slated to open next year.

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