City’s Legislative Delegation Supports Open Casino Bid

Joint news release from Bridgeport’s state legislative delegation:

The Bridgeport Delegation testified jointly before the Public Safety and Security Committee in support of legislation that seeks to establish a Connecticut Gaming Commission and create a competitive bidding process for a resort-casino at a public hearing Tuesday afternoon.

The bill would be the first update to Connecticut’s gaming laws in over 20 years, and would allow the state to create a two-step bidding process. The bill allows the state to initiate the Request for Qualifications/Proposals process to evaluate proposals for a resort-casino in Connecticut from developers such as MGM, the Tribes and others.

The state ultimately would award the bid to a developer with the best project proposal and capacity to construct a resort-casino. The Connecticut Gaming Commission would be responsible for overseeing gaming in Connecticut and keeping the state’s best interests first.

Members of the delegation including State Representatives Andre Baker, Charlie Stallworth, Jack Hennessy, Chris Rosario, Steven Stafstrom, Ezequiel Santiago, and State Senators Marilyn Moore and Dennis Bradley, all Democrat, have expressed their support for the legislation, which came from discussions with MGM after the state passed legislation to allow the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes to construct an off-reservation casino in East Windsor.

However, the legislation does not seek to authorize a resort-casino in Bridgeport, but would only establish the Commission and a competitive bidding process.

“If we’re going to expand gaming then let’s do it the right way. An open competitive process is how we do it here in Connecticut and I don’t see why this process has to be any different,” said Rep. Santiago, House Chair of the Banking Committee. “Transparency is never a bad thing. I also think this is the best way for us to weigh the options so we can make a decision that will be beneficial economically to both the municipality selected and the state.”

“Connecticut is in tough financial shape, and one of the best ways to attain fiscal stability is through the development of a statewide gaming commission and initiating a competitive bidding process for a resort-casino,” said Rep. Hennessy. “This bill is about a fair and open bidding process, which will present the best options to grow Connecticut’s and Bridgeport’s economies. Connecticut has been stuck in the past, but this is an opportunity to move forward and create opportunities.”

“Expanding casino gaming could result in thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in new tax revenue and significant economic opportunities for the host community,” Rep. Stafstrom, co-chair of the Judiciary Committee, said. “Connecticut should not make a significant decision like authorizing another casino without an open, honest and transparent request for proposal and the opportunity for public input. That’s why the delegation has remained steadfastly committed to HB 7055.”

“The casinos in Southeastern Connecticut, at one time, were unique to the region, a draw for tourism, and a new source of revenue for the state. However, times have changed,” said Rep. Stallworth. “I’m in support of House Bill 7055, as it is designed to renew Connecticut’s casino dominance as well as allow for a competitive bidding to bring immediate economic impact as well as long-term benefits.”

“This is the proper approach to any new casino project–a competitive, fair, open and transparent process is in the best interest of the state and our taxpayers,” Rep. Rosario said. “In this process the state and public would be able to evaluate competing proposals that would include plans for hiring during all phases of construction and the jobs and economic impact and benefit to the host town after completion.”

“The residents of Bridgeport are hungry for an economic engine to ignite opportunities in a city that has been waiting for something to bring it back to life,” said Sen. Moore. “We as legislators, have an opportunity to craft legislation that is fair and equitable to anyone who is qualified to participate in the bidding process and to determine how the future of gaming plays a role in our quality of life, our vision for Connecticut, and our financial stability.”

The Delegation’s focus is bringing jobs and private revenue to Bridgeport, in order to help give the city a fair opportunity to thrive. The city has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state, according to the state Department of Labor, and economic growth has been stagnant.

The legislature brought a similar bill up last year, which passed in the House, but did not make it through the Senate.



  1. The CT Post is reporting that although Dennis Bradley is Co-Chair of this crucial committee, which was having a Public Hearing on the Casino Bill, he arrived late. This is crucial to Bridgeport.

    Some things NEVER change..

    1. Maria Pereira, what’s your fascination with keeping attendance records? First, you started by keeping score of Bridgeport parents, activists, and OIB commentators whom for whatever reasons, don’t, can’t or haven’t attended BOE meetings. I’m waiting for your report on who arrives late to BOE meetings from this group. Then you jumped to keeping attendance and tardy records of your colleagues on the BOE and providing us and anyone who would pay attention, with daily, real-time reports. When there’s an election and in the heat of a campaign, I could understand using an incumbent’s attendance record against him or her. Overkill?

      1. No, I don’t think so.

        I definitely think that those you elect to represent you have a responsibility to show up for work.
        I am tracking every single board members attendance and tardiness on spreadsheets and will update that information on here and CT Post Op-eds.

        When I was pulling Stallworth’s attendance record in 2016, I discovered the only way you could do it was to find old legislative books that would tell you what committee he sat on and then you would have to open each set of minutes to see if he was present or not.

        That is the exact same way you have to do it in Bridgeport.

        I think each agency’s website should be required to post it on their website so their constituents could easily see if their elected representatives are even doing the basics of showing up for work.

  2. So many people are in favor of a casino in Bridgeport, as if that will make everything all better. Those in favor ought to review Martin Scorcese’s film “Casino.” Sam “Ace” Rothstein (played by the great Robert Di Niro) voiced the opinion that casinos are a “morality car wash. It does for us what Lourdes does for humpbacks and cripples.”

  3. You are so right Kid but there really needs to be a plan “B” for this area. A lot of work was done to the land just to build a building that will serve a select few. The city needs a major company to come in a create a few thousand jobs. With the proximity to I-95 and the train perhaps someone could reach out to Amazon. It’s a long shot but afterall what’s left to consider that would create as many if not more jobs than the casino?

    I know some people will disagree with my suggestion but too many casinos have failed in Atlantic City.
    Why keep pushing a project on Bridgeport that is doomed to soon fail?


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