Connecticut House Still Mulling The Way Forward On Casino Bills

Despite the House has already given its approval to the gambling expansion in the state, some CT lawmakers still expressed their concern with the fact that the tribes will be given the exclusive right to develop a new casino on what is described as non-tribal land.

These proposals come days before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its regular legislative session at midnight on Wednesday. So they'll have to be approved by the Senate before they can get to the governor's desk for his signature.

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.

Some lawmakers, however, preferred opening the process to other casino developers.

"I'm glad it's nearly over", said Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, who has been working to broker an agreement that could satisfy members of the House.

MGM Resorts International expressed disappointment Wednesday in CT lawmakers' passage of a bill that would allow the state's two federally recognized tribes to open a gaming establishment near the MA border in East Windsor.

The Mohegan Tribal Chairman, Kevin Brown, expressed how families of casino workers at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun were "breathing a sigh of relief" at the passing of the new legislation.

The bill, reached at the eleventh-hour Tuesday, also creates an entertainment sharing agreement between the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes and entertainment venues across the state.

CT lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a bill that authorizes the state's two federally recognized tribes to open a casino in East Windsor. The tribes say not doing this is a big gamble with thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in state revenue. The two tribes have contributed around $7 billion to Connecticut's coffers over the past 25 years and are expected to pay the state more than $220 million in 2017.

The so-called sweetener bill is "drastically reduced" from an earlier proposal that would have placed slot machines in off-track betting facilities in Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury and allowed Hartford open a table-games casino, Aresimowicz said.

As the legislative wheels turn in Connecticut, The MGM Springfield casino is set to open in the Fall of 2018.

  • Aubrey Nash