Gaming Bills Advance Legislative Committee, But Hurdles Remain For Passage

The state legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee on Tuesday advanced several gaming-related bills including a proposal for the creation of a Connecticut Gaming Commission and competitive bidding process for a resort commercial casino. MGM Resorts has proposed a $675 million waterfront destination at the Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment area.

With so many moving and competing parts this is not yet a done deal in the legislature. These bills must be approved by the full State House and Senate.

Governor Ned Lamont supports a gaming destination for Bridgeport, be it MGM, Connecticut’s two tribal nations or a marriage that accomplishes the same.

State Senator Dennis Bradley is Senate chair of Public Safety,

“I am pleased with the committee for advancing this legislation,” said Bradley in a written statement. “I have long been in favor of a competitive, fair and open bidding process to potentially bring a casino to the city of Bridgeport. This process enables us to choose what is best for our state. It gives us control to determine what will have the most positive economic impact on the lives of Connecticut residents.”

The following bills advanced to the Senate and House floor, according to Bradley.

Senate Bill No. 11: “AN ACT CONCERNING THE AUTHORIZATION OF A CASINO GAMING FACILITY IN EAST WINDSOR.”

Senate Bill No. 17: “AN ACT AUTHORIZING SPORTS WAGERING, INTERNET GAMBLING AND INTERNET KENO.”

Senate Bill No. 665: “AN ACT CONCERNING SPORTS WAGERING.”

House Bill No. 7055: “AN ACT CREATING THE CONNECTICUT GAMING COMMISSION AND CREATING A COMPETITIVE BIDDING PROCESS FOR A REPORT CASINO.”

House Bill 7055 would establish the Connecticut Gaming Commission and a competitive bidding process for a resort casino.

“This would be great for Bridgeport,” said Bradley. “Development and renovation is already happening in the city. A casino will create economic opportunities and jobs for people of the Park City. Still, it is important to note this legislation would greatly benefit our state as a whole, not just Bridgeport. My intent is to ensure fairness across the board, it is not about isolating Bridgeport, it is about transparency, fairness and ensuring it makes dollars, because if it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense.”

Bernard Kavaler, spokesman for MGM, issued this statement:

“Today’s committee action advances legislation that puts Connecticut’s interests front and center–creation of an independent state gaming commission, a transparent competitive process for a valuable commercial casino license, and a competitive sports betting marketplace that will benefit consumers and the state. We will continue to work with legislators and the administration to achieve what’s best for Connecticut–maximizing jobs, economic development and revenue.”

The rub here is the state’s compact with Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribal nations that operate Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. It requires the state to receive 25 percent of the slot take in exchange for granting gaming exclusivity, something Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler and acting Mohegan Tribal Chairman James Gessner pointed out in a joint statement.

“The best path forward is one that maintains the mutually beneficial partnership between our two tribes and the state. Any bill that undermines that partnership will simply cost the state jobs and revenue at a time when we can least afford it.

“We know that economic development in Bridgeport is a priority for many legislators and for Governor Lamont. We want to say clearly that we can move forward with East Windsor and still find a solution that puts people to work in Bridgeport without putting a dollar of the revenue we currently send to the state at risk.”

The tribal nations are seeking legislative approval for a third state casino in East Windsor to counter MGM’s recently opened resort in Springfield, Massachusetts.

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25 comments

    1. Anyone who thinks MGM’s $675M self-financed magic wand won’t make Bridgeport more pristine than Sunny Brook Farms is beyond retarded and needs immediate attention from “the boys in white”.

      1. Ah, the pink elephants are dancing today. MGM has no intention of building here. They have a casino in Springfield. They don’t want the native American tribes to build a casino in East Windsor.

  1. It’s a start. Kudos to State Senator Bradley.
    Sports betting is Connecticut’s best chance to import huge sums and create a recurring business. Coupling the risk of gambling with a micro-insurance policy is my idea and I hope it gains traction.

  2. Loser does it matter what’s MGM’s intention? These bills that allow them to an open up the process is neither going to stop the tribes from building the proposed casino in East Windsor nor doesn’t kill the pact with the tribes by allowing this bills to pass and have an open process.

    Now That being said. The lost revenue to the state if casinos are allowed to be built off reservation land is being addressed, new taxes, tolls, (800 million), Pot, and revenue from any casino that is going to be built including the one in East Windor that the state will get a lager share of before they allow it to be built. (if that treat them like that are doing to CT drivers 🙂 )

    Now that being said. There is no silver bullet, single development for the Port. It’s going to be how the powers at be develop the city. Case in point you have a shit burnt out brick building that want to be save and incorporated for no other reason but to under develop that land.

    I doubt any casino in East Windsor is going to grow into a mega resort destination, Bridgeport on the other with Pleasure beach can be something that elevate the city. What we do with the city, well that’s another game. So if MGM builds a casino at Steel Point that opens up Pleasure Beach for something in the words of Trump HUGE. 🙂 Personal that process will go out to all the big players in gaming. That time will tell. Bam

    My Job is done, Good luck, Port.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OhSUX79CR10

    1. You missed the point. Then again, you are a brain dead little specimen. (A rude one too. Heard about you playing grab-ass with Nora.) MGM doesn’t want the Mashantucket Pequots or the Mohegans to build a casino in East Windsor because it would draw attendance away from the MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts. (You should brush up on local geography before you call others names.)
      MGM has merely PROPOSED a hotel/casino for Bridgeport. Little Joe Ganim and Lord Mario Testa must be aflutter at the possibility of manna from heaven in the form of many Benjamins. No letters of intent have been issued, no contracts have been signed. No guarantees they will actually build so everyone calm down. Stevie Auerbach and the rest of Ganim’s mewling section are all for anything to be built on the Carpenter Technologies property to hid the east end from downtown. God knows he can’t stand the fact that there are people living in poverty over there.

  3. RUMOR MILL:
    We’re just getting started.
    The ghost of Machiavelli stays abreast of current events and advises us to avoid tolls on the ground and keep gambling in the sky (cloud, mobile and internet). He thinks if Dennis Bradley grabs the gambler’s attention long enough to balance the budget and build a tax stream, his long term upside is limitless.

  4. I am sorry but I just don’t trust MGM casino’s. Their purchase of the Yonkers site broke my trust or any belief of what they are saying about Bridgeport. There is absolutely NO way that MGM will maintain the Yonkers facility as it is. Anyone who can look at marketing can see the that the Yonkers facility is the true gold mine for MGM in the NYC metropolitan area. MGM is gaming Bridgeport to protect their Springfield MA investment. Anyone who does not see this is just a fool.

  5. In what way? Please explain your logic to this fool. They, MGM. is asking for an open process to bid on a Bridgeport Casino. It’s not stopping the tribes from building in East Windsor. If anything they are putting Yonkers’s in risk by asking for an open process if the they lost the bid for a casino in Bridgeport. Buying Yonkers protects or leverages their position in Bridgeport over other who will be interest in Bridgeport casino. What MGM is asking for will not stop an East Windsor casino. So why create competition for Yonkers by asking for an open bid process that will not in anyway protect MGM Springfield? You are like TBK just don’t want a casino in the Port so you are just reaching to negated it. SMH

    1. Robert,

      You’re right, I do not want a casino in Bridgeport. That’s not the point. MGM has no intention of building here. MGM wants to control gaming in the northeast.

      1. Loser. Lets not forget MGM and Foxwood’s worked together, and they, MGM, had their name on one of Foxwood’s hotels at Foxwoods Resort. MGM’s stopped licensing their name to Foxwoods so they, MGM, can build a casino in Springfield. MGM and the tribes are not like the BBOE. The Tribes, Mohegan and Foxwoods, are more in competition with each other than MGM Springfield for those gambling dollars. JS.

        The question is why are you and many others against the Port getting gaming? And please people, don’t take the high road, ” moral ground” on gambling. 🙂

        Think about the long game, if gaming is the game.

        I’m going to end this conversation with my prophet Eminem and Dr. Dre. “you fuckin back stabber when the chip were down.” 🙂

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VA770wpLX-Q

        1. I’ve seen the damage a casino can do to a community. Ever been to Atlantic City, New Jersey? The mayor and board of aldermen sold the casinos as a “an answer to all our prayers,” the saving grace of Atlantic City. No more crime, no more poverty, the streets will be paved with gold, water will turn into wine, blah-blah-blah. The first casino opened in 1978, 41 years ago. Guess what? There is still crime and grinding poverty in Atlantic City.

          Anyone thinks MGM really gives a shit about the people of the city of Bridgeport is delusional.

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