Overcoming opposition from the co-chair Tim Larson, State Senator Ed Gomes led the call for transparency Thursday morning as the state legislature’s Public Safety Committee voted 18-6 to approve a public hearing on a bill calling for an open, competitive process for a commercial casino proposed in Bridgeport.
Prior to the vote Gomes urged transparency.
The state’s gaming policy currently operates under a monopoly that provides Connecticut’s two tribal nations preference in exchange for 25 percent of the slot take. MGM Resorts has proposed a waterfront casino for Bridgeport and is pushing for a competitive process. Gomes emphasized that he did not have a dog in the fight to select a commercial operator, but urged a public hearing so all sides could be heard.
See related story here regarding Larson’s opposition.
Mayor Joe Ganim issued this statement:
“I commend Bridgeport’s Senator Ed Gomes for speaking out at today’s Public Safety Committee meeting. Ed showed yet again that he is a true fighter, unafraid to stand up for his constituents and against an attempt to prevent a real shot at major economic development for our entire region. Surely, an open, competitive gaming process that has the potential to bring a $700 million casino to Bridgeport, adding 7,000 jobs to the Bridgeport-New Haven region and contributing more than $300 Million a year in gaming revenue to the State of Connecticut is worthy of a public hearing and public consideration. We look forward to a robust, transparent debate on the future of gaming in Connecticut.”