As MGM Springfield Opens, Gaming Giant Eyes Bridgeport

He was born in Bridgeport and his mom still resides in Connecticut’s largest city. Come January Jim Murren, chief executive officer of MGM Resorts International, will once again pitch the Connecticut General Assembly to approve an open, competitive process for the gaming titan to build a waterfront destination in Bridgeport incorporating components of the city’s history into the $675 million proposal just like MGM’s latest unveiling in Springfield, Massachusetts opening this week.

MGM Bridgeport rendering
Rendering of MGM Bridgeport.

MGM’s Bridgeport proposal includes a guaranteed benefit that Springfield and surrounding communities are already receiving. MGM’s Bridgeport plan calls for a minimum $8 million annual host fee payment in addition to other revenues such as taxes and building permit fees it will generate on the Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment area that currently includes Bass Pro Shops as the anchor tenant. MGM officials see Bridgeport’s geography as a key destination for Fairfield and New Haven counties as well as New York.

The gaming proposal requires state legislative approval. Connecticut’s current gaming policy operates under a monopoly with the state’s two tribal nations that operate Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. The state receives 25 percent of the slot take in exchange for granting exclusivity. Critics of the gaming monopoly assert the state is leaving millions of dollars on the table. Some state legislators want to stick with the exclusivity compact with the tribal nations while others maintain the process must be opened up to determine the best deal for the state.

MGM announced its recent purchase of Empire City Casino and Yonkers Raceway in New York does not impact its commitment to building a waterfront destination in Bridgeport.

From Dan Haar, CT Post:

Springfield, in fact, picked MGM, or rather Massachusetts picked the company among five bidders for a western Massachusetts license in a process that MGM wants Connecticut to follow. Supporters of the MGM proposal for Bridgeport–smaller than Springfield at $675 million, and on a spit in the harbor, not downtown–will visit Springfield and wonder whether the company can do something like it for the Park City.

So far, after years of trying, MGM hasn’t won an open process in the state legislature, though a watered-down version made it through the House this past spring. The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, operators of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort casinos, hold exclusive rights to run casinos in Connecticut, a claim MGM has challenged in court.

“You need only to look at Springfield to see the merit of a competitive bidding process and the folly of not availing a state of all its options,” Murren said.

“I’ll continue to fight for Bridgeport,” said Murren, who was born there, at St. Vincent’s, and whose mother lives there today. “If I could think of a city that is more deserving than Bridgeport, I would name it but I cannot. … It’s just heartbreaking really to see in my lifetime, and it started before I was born, its decline.”

Full story here.

Share

28 comments

  1. Well, Bridgeport voters this seems like a no brainer, one you know if Republicans are elected there is NO chance of Bridgeport getting a casino. Now there are NO guarantees that Bridgeport will get a casino until it’s determine to see if the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribe’s 25% that they guarantee to the State is not lost by putting a casino in Bridgeport and the return from Bridgeport match or are greater than the deal that’s already in place. So, Bridgeport voters stay home and don’t vote because you’re pissed off at the State Democrat leaders and Ned Lamont didn’t support Joe Ganin for their candidate for governor.

  2. Ron, you are correct in your assumptions. Lamont has said that he is in favor of a Bridgeport casino with the above caveat that you described above. He didn’t say it that succinctly but tap danced around the question. At the end of September the results will be in for state slot leakage with MGM opening. Boston area casino opens in June of 2019. Do the tribes cut a deal with the state? This issue could be held up in court for years by MGM if the legislature does not issue a RFP for casino expansion, including Least Windsor under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment.

  3. HOW IS IT THAT GANIM IS GOING TO NAME PEREZ THE POLICE CHIEF AND AWARD HIM A 5 YEAR CONTRACT. HE HAS TO KNOW THAT pEREZ DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS FOR CHIEF. i GUESS GANIM OWES MORE THAN WE THOUGHT HE DID. I GUESS THE CHARTER REQUIREMENTS FOR CHIEF DONT MEAN SHIT

        1. Lennie,
          Rumors run rampant in Bridgeport, as you know. Andy has a good ear to the ground in terms of accountability.

          The spokesperson you mention may have the original plan in mind? Ganim2 invites folks to serve on a committee to review all of the responses stirred up by the consultant and narrow these down to three, then offer them to Ganim2 for his vote. No committee appointments announced yet? Although a few people have privately said they have been invited.

          “Secrecy and accountability cannot co-exist.” You will hear that one again and again in the future. So what do we have in Bridgeport Ed Adams, secrecy or accountability?? Time will tell.

          1. john with the exception of Marsilio, Murphy and Pinto the remaider of players from Ganim 1 are still in play

        2. Lennie, Andy was taking about Albany! Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced that she will appoint current Southfield, Michigan Police Chief Eric Hawkins as the new Chief of the Albany Police Department. Mayor Sheehan’s announcement is the culmination of a national search where residents helped to build the candidate profile outlining what they wanted in Albany’s next Chief of Police.

      1. Andy, Joe Ganim personally owes AJ Perez big time and that debt needs to be repaid personally and not paid by the taxpayers of Bridgeport. Last Wednesday was the reboot of Joe Ganim being the mayor of Bridgeport and this will be his first decision for his reboot as mayor. I’m sure that Ganim will fail in this decision for the next Police Chief.

    1. Place your bets! Place your bets! I bet it will never happen. Most other casinos all around are either hurting or a best not doing anywhere near the business they had been doing years ago. Politicians looking to find more revenue and graft money for themselves continue to look at ways to garner more dollars from these corporate giants who are way more intelligent then the elected ones! Why are casinos hurting? To many have been allowed to open. Feeding on the people who can least afford to throw away money frivolously. Like when a bunch more liquor stores open up in the neighborhoods that don’t need them!! Welcome to Bridgeport; welcome to Connecticut!! Oh….no you say??? Connecticut used to be near the top of the list of States to live and work in. Where are we now? Years ago Bridgeport was a shining city. Look at it now. Get real! Place your bets!!

  4. I believe it would be great for the city if it was to get the casino, but I don’t see it happening. Perez a new 5 year contract?????? INSANE….again I will say it BRIDGEPORT 1 STEP FORWARD 5 STEPS BACK

  5. A casino for Bpt??..never going to happen,I think most of us realize that.

    Perez a new contract?,Of course he will get one,he was put in place by Mario & Joe because he does what they want.Why would they want anyone else?

  6. *** “Build it & they shall come”, NOT! *** Leyard, Ct. about an hour & a half away from Bpt. so is Springfield, Ma. Like everything new people will travel to check them out, however wheres the continued money coming from to maintain all these new casinos? Isn’t a mini casino going up in upper Hartford County? Plus the economy is not all that when you think of the taxes residents pay in Ct. So put one in Bpt. & lets see how long it stays afloat? Roll the dice politicians after all it is gambling, no? ***

    1. I guess it would be an attempt to clip the customers heading to Mohegan / Foxwoods.I think it will be telling to see how much that MGM impacts the CT ones as far as losing customers from Mass. They will do what they can to lure away the big fish. Also – the casino in BPT would also have the issue of entertainment. The others have arenas. I don’t think the folks that run Webster Bank arena nor the proposed ampitheater right next door will be too happy with a casino basically around the corner attracting talent away from them. I’m just concerned with the glut of casions in the PA / NY / CT area. There is someone here, i forget who, that lists them all and there are many. Vegas can handle multiple because they are all one central location. These are all spread out. And unlike Vegas, they really do not give back much in the way of vaulable comps. You have to drop a lot of dough to get any status at the CT casinos. I know people that are still getting offered free rooms in AC and they have not been there in years nor were high rollers.

  7. No one can really believe that a casino is really coming to Bridgeport. This pie in the sky proposal was a hedge against the possible casino in East Windsor which MGM took to safeguard its Springfield investment. The Hartford area is 26 miles from Springfield and 45 miles from the Mohegan casino and about the same to Foxwoods. MGM knows this and wants to keep those customers for themselves. Bridgeport, it ain’t gonna happen although I would love to see it happen, but it ain’t gonna happen.

  8. Per Jimfox,

    Akwesasne Mohawk Casino
    Hogansburg
    Franklin
    New York

    Native American

    Batavia Downs Casino
    Batavia
    Genesee
    New York

    Racino

    Del Lago Resort and Casino
    Tyre
    Seneca
    New York

    Commercial
    All table games permitted.
    Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway
    Yonkers
    Westchester
    New York

    Racino
    All table games are automated.
    The Fairgrounds Gaming
    Hamburg
    Erie
    New York

    Racino

    Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino
    Islandia
    Suffolk
    New York

    Commercial

    Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track
    Farmington
    Ontario
    New York

    Racino

    Lakeside Entertainment
    Union Springs
    Cayuga
    New York

    Native American

    Mohawk Bingo Palace and Casino
    Akwesasne
    Franklin
    New York

    Native American

    Monticello Gaming & Raceway
    Monticello
    Sullivan
    New York

    Racino

    Point Place Casino
    Bridgeport
    Madison
    New York

    Native American
    Scheduled to open in March 2018[1]
    Resorts World Catskills
    Kiamesha Lake
    Sullivan
    New York

    Commercial

    Resorts World New York City
    Ozone Park
    Queens
    New York

    Racino
    All table games are automated.
    Rivers Casino & Resort
    Schenectady
    Schenectady
    New York

    Commercial
    All table games permitted
    Saratoga Casino and Raceway
    Saratoga Springs
    Saratoga
    New York

    Racino

    Seneca Allegany Casino
    Salamanca
    Cattaraugus
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino
    Buffalo
    Erie
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Irving
    Irving
    Cattaraugus
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Oil Spring
    Cuba
    Allegany
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Salamanca
    Salamanca
    Cattaraugus
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Niagara Casino
    Niagara Falls
    Niagara
    New York

    Native American

    Tioga Downs & Casino
    Nichols
    Tioga
    New York

    Racino

    Turning Stone Resort & Casino
    Verona
    Oneida
    New York

    Native American

    Vernon Downs & Casino
    Vernon
    Oneida
    New York

    Racino

    Yellow Brick Road Casino
    Chittenango
    Madison
    New York

  9. But you know lets keep down a multi-billion dollar revenue stream and 10’s of thousand of decent paying jobs because we have a “Bird” problem. SMBH

Leave a Reply