Deecken: Legalized Sports Betting Must Benefit Bridgeport Region

Republican State Senate candidate Rich Deecken asserts it’s time to spread the wealth around via a comprehensive approach to gaming in Connecticut that currently operates under a monopoly controlled by the two federally recognized tribal nations that own Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.

Deecken issued a statement in response to State Senator Tim Larson’s op-ed in the Journal Inquirer concerning a General Assembly special session on sports betting that would wire it to the tribal nations under a negotiation with outgoing Governor Dan Malloy. Connecticut has a gaming compact agreement with the tribes in which the state receives 25 percent of the slot take in exchange for granting casino exclusivity. Some state legislators, both Democrat and Republican, declare the gaming monopoly leaves a lot of cash on the table. They prefer to wait until the new legislative session in January to address sports betting. So for now, the sports betting legislation is on hold.

Deecken, a Bridgeport high school teacher, is challenging incumbent Democrat Marilyn Moore in the 22nd District that covers all of Trumbull and portions of Bridgeport and Monroe. Gaming giant MGM has proposed a $675 million waterfront destination in Bridgeport. It’s presentation for an open, competitive process to select a gaming operator passed the State House last session, but did not come up for a vote in the Senate. MGM will resubmit its proposal for the start of the new legislative session in January. The tribal nations want to build a casino in East Windsor, part of Larson’s district, to counter MGM’s $1 billion enterprise that recently opened in Springfield, Massachusetts. MGM maintains that the money a Bridgeport destination generates for the state would surpass the dwindling state revenues from the exclusive gaming compact.

The state legislature must approve any alterations to the gaming compact.

Deecken maintains sports-betting legislation, following a Supreme Court ruling that legalizes it nationwide, must be part of a comprehensive package from an open, competitive process. From Deecken:

“Senator Larson, Governor Malloy, eastern Connecticut and Hartford legislators, and Connecticut tribal casinos are desperate to legalize sports betting before the November 6, 2018 general election. Unless all of the legislators are willing to negotiate a comprehensive revision of gaming, keno, and sports betting legislation that involves a competitive process for both nontribal and tribal gaming operators, there should be no reason for the Bridgeport delegation to negotiate at this time. It is important to note that Sen. Larson tried unsuccessfully earlier this year to thwart a public hearing on the competitive gaming legislation supported by most of the Bridgeport legislative delegation. The legislation passed in the State House of Representatives while the State Senate failed to act before the end of the session.

Sen. Larson blames Republicans for the failure to act on sports betting. Don’t be fooled by Sen. Larson’s rhetoric. Casino gaming, keno, and sports betting are not partisan issues; they are regional issues. Hartford and eastern Connecticut are actively trying to prevent the Greater Bridgeport and New Haven regions from competing for increased businesses, jobs and revenues to preserve a shrinking tribal gaming monopoly. Sen. Larson mentions, “the failure to come together and pass a well-regulated sports betting law that can and will bring in millions of dollars”; however, this windfall would mainly benefit the tribes, Hartford and eastern Connecticut.

Sen. Larson’s suggestion that legislators “coming together” will not benefit the state as a whole, but will continue to serve the Hartford and eastern Connecticut constituencies. Only through the passage of a competitive gaming bill and sports betting legislation, as part of comprehensive gaming reform, will all of Connecticut benefit.”



  1. I’m getting a sense of deja vu. Deecken’s statement was posted here couple of weeks ago and it waS THROUGHLY discussed. Hopefully it was resurrected to Deecken for some free publicity. Anyway,there will be NO special legislative session until after the November elections for governor and state assembly. Was it necessary to discuss Deekens political posturing twice in two weeks. Hopefully this in not connected to any “Democrats for Deecken”

    1. Larson is posturing too. His district would benefit from an agreement with the CT Indians. Larson is asking for something that will not happen,namely the special legislative session concerning casino,sports betting and online gambling.

  2. Marilyn has been more or less painfully silent on Sports Betting. She was spotted in her Jaguar putting a couple of dollars on Seabiscuit up at Saratoga a couple of weeks ago.

    1. Seabiscuit, the original, was a legendary horse from The Great Depression and an inspiration to many. The name has historical value and the bloodline surely remains although its authenticity is often doubted.

  3. What is Deecken’s comprehensive plan for his district and the state? How about Bridgeport? His ideas on regionalization of services? Should Trumbull have to pay for all of its economic benefits derived from pirated use of Bridgeport infrastructure? Should Trumbull have to pay for the detrimental impact on Bridgeport of its intentional “border development” policy that facilitates its pirating of Bridgeport infrastructure even as it destroys Bridgeport neighborhoods?! And, in regard to the latter: why has Senator Moore been silent on these issues even as she kisses the asses of her Trumbull and Monroe constituents while she back-kicks her Bridgeport constituents by doing the former… Moore and Deecken — Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum… Two Moore reasons for Bridgeport voters to stay home on November 6…

    1. Nothing is more politically disheartening than a former mayoral candidate who intentionally discards his vote and encourages others to follow suit.
      EXCEPT when The Bridgeport Kid narrows our choices to three options and claims mental superiority while leaving the decision to us.

    2. @Jeff Kohut
      Trumbull pirating use of Bridgeport infrastructure…BULLSH*T
      I pay a huge WPCA bill for Bridgeport to process my waste.
      72% of the cost of Bridgeport public schools is paid by taxpayers in the other 168 towns and cities in CT.
      Trumbull’s industrial and non single family development is on the outskirts of town because that is where the STATE highways are: RT 15, 8, 25…………..
      There are no large parcels left to develop in Trumbull. We are repurposing existing vacant commercial space for multi family use. This does not destroy Bridgeport neighborhoods.
      I have been a proponent of regionalization for more than 40 years. I spent 12 years on a utility commission made up of New Haven, Hamden and West Haven.
      However, until Bridgeport cleans up its government neighboring municipalities will have no interest in regionalization.

  4. Blah blah blah…

    All this chatter overlooks the bigger picture. The state needs to money. The choices to raise revenue are: Door #1, highway tolls; Door #2, legalizing marijuana for recreational use (something opposed by the pseudo conservatives that prefer having a mom-and-pop liquor store in every town and hamlet: and Door #3, legalized sports betting. Choose wisely.

    1. The biggest part of government budgets wages and benefits so Connecticut could do away with the State Police and have a “stand your ground law” like some other states cut the salary of elected officials just for starters.

      1. Ron Mackey has a lot in common with 45, President Trump. They’re ideological buddies.
        This is a political blog, right?
        In some cases, he’s even more conservative than The POTUS. For example: When RM suggests cutting elected officials salaries, he’s demanding something Trump never did.
        And when he wants to do away with State Police and stand his ground, he’s hinting at the kind of rugged individualism not officially endorsed by Trump or normally seen in this area.
        In short, RM is saying cut all you want but leave mine alone.

        1. All of the federal government pay raise for the military who are proudly protecting this country has stopped by President 45, that money is better spent on building the wall that Mexico will pay for, not.

  5. Marshall Marcus: You are obviously not willing to admit the elitist-racist exploitation of Bridgeport by your town — which call into question your own claim to Democrat/liberal credentials — and you also display ignorance of basic economics, per Bridgeport’s labor/housing/infrastructure/services value to the state and region in the context of its receipt of operating revenue from the state 9and its short-changing, therein)… You come across as an unapologetic, suburban elitist, albeit, in denial and living in intentional ignorance of the socioeconomic reality (of elitist exploitation) from which you directly benefit…
    Were Trumbull to be cut off from Bridgeport infrastructure and services, it would quickly collapse into the hick-town that it was prior to its connection to the Bridgeport sewage system and the subsequent gouging of the connection to Bridgeport known as the 25-8 Connector/Route 25 — which savaged extant Bridgeport tax base and allowed pirating of much of the rest by Trumbull, Shelton, et al…

    Sorry to disturb your blissful, ignorance, my pseudo-liberal friend…

    1. @Jeff Kohut
      You are quick to call names and present no facts.
      I have more than a basic understanding of Economics, I did my undergraduate work at the Wharton School of Economic more than 45 years ago. And don’t go calling me elite, I paid for my time there working in the ladies shoe department of Strawbridge and Clothier.
      Bridgeport’s labor/housing/infrastructure/service value to the state and region has plummeted over the past 60 years. Surrounding towns are not just suburbs. Trumbull residents are more likely to work in Trumbull, Shelton, Fairfield, Stratford, Milford, New Haven, Norwalk and Stamford than Bridgeport.
      When my children go to NYC by train they use Fairfield stations, not Bridgeport.
      RT 8/25 and I-95 are not Bridgeport roads, they are state roads. T
      I am not a white flight suburbanite as you imagine, I was born, raised educated and spent most of my adult life living in New Haven. It was a second marriage that brought me to Trumbull, a town where my wife has spent almost her entire life. Her family all lived here and her children were in school her, no reason to uproot them when I had no one left in New Haven.
      I attempt to shop and eat in Bridgeport and support the arts. BUT, last week my wife was threatened with serious bodily harm while shopping at a Main Street supermarket. I called 911. We got to our car and the two females threatening her attempted to block us in. Two young men used their pickup trucks to box these women off and we drove away. More than 30 minutes later BPD called my cell to say an officer has arrived on the scene, did I want to drive back and make a report? NFW! Worthless ACTING Chief Perez needs to go and the BPD needs to respond in a timely manner.
      I’m not a pseudo liberal, but a real one. We are also Bridgeport taxpayers with a vested interest in the city’s success
      You just love to spew hate and accusations about someone you’ve never met and don’t know anything about.
      BTW>>>maybe if Bridgeport funded its libraries, the Trumbull library wouldn’t be overrun with Bridgeport residents using our facilities. It works both ways.

      1. Marshall Marcus, on a much lighter note, I see the combination of words that are humorous, “basic understanding of Economics, I did my undergraduate work at the Wharton School of Economic more than 45 years ago,” the Wharton School of Economic is what President 45 claim to fame, both 45 and Wharton School of Economic are not what you support.

        1. @Ron
          Unlike Trump, my father didn’t buy my way in after I was failing out of Fordham.
          I was a New Haven Public School kid from an inner city riot torn high school who got in on my academic achievements. Back then, UCONN was $1,000 per year and Wharton cost $7,000 (tuition room and board for both). I worked Wednesdays from 1-9 and Saturdays from 9-5 and made enough to pay for school.
          Trump was there at a time that the II-S student deferment kept him out of the draft, daddy’s money kept him enrolled in school. His experience was similar to George W. Bush, legacy admission to Yale and his gentleman’s C grades. BUT, Bush was a WASP and member of secret societies and Fraternity, Trump was a nothing.

  6. Marshall: I sympathize with your horrible experience at the Bridgeport supetmarket… I’m glad no one was injured… That being said, I don’t spew hate. I state ugly truths that disturb people that have conflicted self-images… That is not my problem… It is theirs…
    It is elitist, racist, greed-based political conniving, and economic exploitation, that has destroyed Bridgeport… Our “corruption” and dysfunction is a symptom of that… I can see how you would feel uncomfortable being identified as a willing beneficiary of said economic exploitation… History clearly shows that I am correct. If you feel guilty, don’t blame me. Move to Bridgeport and use your claimed liberal passion to help this city — or deal with being identified as one of the exploiters and elitist apologists… (And Trumbull’s commercial development could have been zoned away from Bridgeport’s border neighborhoods — the zoning was done to create a “racist,”redline” buffer-zone around Trumbull. But you know this — you’ve had plenty of time to chat about Bridgeport with your fellow Trumbullites…)

    1. @JEFF
      Trumbull’s Commerical zones are also on the borders of Stratford, Shelton and Monroe…nothing to do with racism.
      Your excuses for Bridgeports failures are’s someone else’s fault.
      I have no reason to sell my wife’s home and move, to Bridgeport or anywhere else.
      As we already pay taxes in Bpt and I volunteer in Bpt many times each week I am involved. AND we own property in a Bridgeport border neighborhood……….
      Find someone else to blame, it doesn’t apply here

  7. Bullshit, Marshall. You’ve already identified yourself as pseudo-liberal by your reactions to mu posts. Defensive. Nonsense. Denial. Economically ignorant. Do you own a SHU rental house on the border? I bet that you do! It’s time for Bridgeport to block sewer service to Trumbull — and then you can talk about your Trumbull WPCA rates — that you deserve — when you and your elitist neighbors have to take care of your own shit… And while you’re at it, build your own hospital, courthouses, drug treatment facilities, etc… Yes; you’re quite the concerned liberal — concerned with maintaining the status quo… Never forget that Trumbull is nothing without Bridgeport, and that as it exploits Bridgeport, it jeopardizes its own well-being…

    1. @Jeff………………
      Don’t bet the ranch…………….you’d lose
      We don’t own student rental housing.
      We have a house that was in Mrs. M’s family for 50+ years, still occupied by a relative and a condo occupied by a disable senior citizen tenant for the past 12 years.
      Bridgeport didn’t build Courthouses, they are property of the State. The city didn’t build St. Vincent’s, The Catholic Church and other supporters did so. Bpt Hospital is owned by Yale, and I avoid it like the plague…they almost killed Mrs. M two years ago. Last time my eldest daughter needed the emergency room we went to Griffin Hospital in Derby, and I’ve used Milford Hospital as well. Why would you block sewer service when it’s a money maker for Bpt? Drug treatment facilities are all over, not just in Bridgeport. We’ve never needed one and hope we never do, but I do know those who have used Silver Hill in New Canaan.
      Stop pretending to be downtrodden and oppressed, Bpt is being exploited by its own politicians. You place far more importance on Bridgeport to its neighbors than the neighbors do. Hell there isn’t even a Bridgeport newspaper anymore, no TV station, no airport with commercial flights

  8. Bridgeport is the regional host of the services and infrastructure that allow your security and well-being. For everything from electric-power generation and incarceration and drug treatment, to healthcare and legal/court services… Not to mention sewage and refuse disposal… (And how are the plans for Trumbull’s sewage and garbage-recycling centers coming along?!) If there is a need for a trauma center in the Bridgeport area, the choice isn’t Griffin Hospital… Neither is it for any other lie-and situation… I won’t argue about elective-surgery risk — but I know of a person who had a near-catastrophe during unsuccessful back surgery at Yale-new Haven, but experienced success and recovery after back surgery at St. V’s…

    And, in regard to using the Fairfield versus Bridgeport train stations: It must be because of the time it saves driving from Trumbull to Fairfield, vs. Bridgeport…

    And I’m not down-trodden or oppressed — nor would I want to pretend to be… I’m just pissed by suburban elitists benefitting by their exploitation of my city even as they pretend to be liberal, egalitarian, Democrats (while complaining about Bridgeport being treated fairly and compensated justly for their support of the region’s lifestyle and well-being)…


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