The third casino for Connecticut has been approved by the House and it just needs the governor’s signature to finally be authorised.
US.- The Connecticut lawmakers have given their final approval for a third casino in the state and now the governor will pronounce on whether he passes the bill or not. However, if he also approves it, the whole matter might end in a federal court as MGM says it’s an unconstitutional no bid contract.
Despite that lawmakers gave an overwhelming approval to the plan that allows the Mashantucket and the Mohegan Tribes to jointly develop a third state casino and the potential green light by the governor as well, the new gaming venue could be trapped in a legal battle. The state has favoured the tribal plan to compete with the MGM facility thats soon to be open in Springfield with a casino of their own in East Windsor and has generated the unrest among MGM governance.
House Speaker Representative Joe Aresimowicz said that “there was a lot of workers out in the hall for the past couple of months talking about their ability to provide for their families,” and added: “We have to focus on jobs and the bill we did last night, that’s why I supported it, was the one bill that really focused on jobs particularly in Eastern Connecticut.”
MGM says that they will keep fighting against the project in the courts, in which they already have a federal lawsuit on appeal against the third casino process. Attorney General George Jepsen commented that the dispute will take years and that he will defend the statute. Nonetheless, he said: “This is a new territory and so I’m not here to make any predictions but we do believe that we have very straight faced arguments to make.”
The tribes spokesman has defended the process as they believe that MGM hasn’t proven that they even have a standing in a potential case. The Schaghticoke tribe is also threatening legal action and urged the governor to veto the bill. Meanwhile, the governor has issued a statement commending lawmakers for keeping the focus on jobs and said that he looks forward to reviewing the final bill.
The House vote also included an expansion of Off Track Betting facilities to 24 and the posibility to host Mixed Martial Arts matches at the XL Center and Webster arena in Hartford and Bridgeport. Rep. Bill Buckbee said: “The fastest growing sport nationwide so it’s a big advantage to have something, a new draw. So while we can’t have the Whalers we can at least have some fights coming to town and some great entertainment.”