Connecticut discuses tribal casinos

Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes would run the casino together.
Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes would run the casino together.

MGM’s project in Massachussets has urged lawmakers to discuss a new casino opening nearby to avoid jobs and tax revenue losses.

US.- The expansion of casino gambling in Connecticut is moving forward as the General Assembly’s Public Safety Committee took steps Wednesday on two contrasting bills, but some members of the Connecticut State Legislative committee warned that the issue is far from settled.

The first bill foresees authorising the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to build an accessory casino in East Windsor, outside tribal lands. MGM Resorts International casino in Springfield, Massachusetts will open in 2018 and puts jobs in the two major casinos in southeastern Connecticut at risk, the tribes warn.

The other bill compels the state Departments of Consumer Protection and Economic and Community Development to create a process for requesting proposals from developers to build a commercial casino anywhere in Connecticut.

Supporters of the tribal bill stand by their warnings about the loss of more than 9000 jobs and millions of dollars in state tax revenue if there’s no competing nearby casino at Connecticut once MGM opens its US$950 million business over the state border next year. Several lawmakers, on the contrary, said greater discussion is needed about the implications of authorizing a casino on nontribal land.