The Connecticut Airport Authority is not required under the state’s right-to-know laws to reveal details of negotiations about a possible casino at Bradley International Airport.
US.- According to a report from the state Freedom of Information Commission, the Connecticut Airport Authority is not required under the state’s right-to-know laws to reveal details of negotiations about a possible casino at Bradley International Airport that took place in executive session.
The controversy surrounding Bradley International Airport proposed casino started after MGM Resorts International, which is building a US$950 million casino and entertainment complex in Springfield, filed two complaints with the commission. These complaints challenged the authority’s use of executive sessions in February and April to discuss “Potential Casino Development” and “Negotiating Strategy.”
The Connecticut Airport Authority was among those that submitted proposals last fall for a casino in the Hartford area. This project is being pursued by MMCT, a joint venture of the tribal operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. The aim of this project is to mitigate the competitive impact of MGM Springfield on the Connecticut economy.
Hearing officer Lisa Fein Siegel wrote that the authority’s board of directors discussed “financial provisions of the lease they would enter into with MMCT, how the lease would be structured, and concerns about the new or restructured leases with third-party partners in the gaming facility operation.”
Siegel’s analysis also found “that having such information in the public domain during the competitive process would reveal [the authority’s] negotiating strategy and would harm [the authority’s] ability to maintain optimal rental terms and conditions.”
To conclude, Siegel added that disclosure is protected under freedom of information laws.