Dennis Bradley, who will receive the oath of office on Wednesday for State Senate in the 23rd District, announced on Tuesday his appointment as Senate chair of Public Safety, a key legislative committee where a proposal for a commercial casino is expected to be submitted.
The appointment made by Senate leader Martin Looney comes following the announcement that State Senator Tim Larson has accepted a position in the new gubernatorial administration of Ned Lamont.
MGM Resorts has proposed a $675 million waterfront destination for Bridgeport. The chair of public safety guides the agenda for what the committee takes up, or not.
Bradley says he’ll “ensure an equal and fair bidding process for a new casino. Bridgeport would be a great location for an entertainment/casino since we are America’s Park City … The process has to be open and transparent.”
The stakes have grown higher in the upcoming legislative session. Last year a proposal for an open, competitive casino process passed the State House, but did not come up for a vote in the Senate.
MGM has positioned itself as a viable alternative to Connecticut’s gaming monopoly in existence for more than 25 years in which the state receives 25 percent of dwindling slot revenue in exchange for granting the tribal nations that run Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun exclusivity.
Proponents of the MGM proposal argue the process should be opened up to maximize revenues with Bridgeport a prime location for a gaming destination given its proximity to the wealthy Fairfield County market.
Bradley, a member of the Board of Education, was elected to the Senate seat following the retirement of Ed Gomes.