Lauretti Supports Competitive Casino Process–‘Competition Drives Innovation’

Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, Republican candidate for governor, testified on Friday before the legislature’s Public Safety Committee in support of a bill for an open, competitive process with Bridgeport in play for a waterfront gaming destination. The bill passed the legislative committee and now requires passage by the State House and Senate. In his testimony Lauretti lamented government monopolies, declaring open competition is “healthy for economics.” Connecticut operates under a gaming monopoly in which it receives 25 percent of the slot take in exchange for granting exclusivity to the two tribal nations that operate Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. See Lauretti testimony above.

Lauretti, who has deep roots in Bridgeport, issued this additional statement on Monday:

For the second time in two weeks, there was an attempt to stifle debate on an issue concerning fair competition for casino gaming in Connecticut. Fortunately, the Public Safety committee overwhelming voted to move the competitive gaming resolution forward to the General Assembly.

Competition is what drives innovation. Regardless of where you stand on expanding casino gaming in Connecticut, it’s hard to argue that monopolies are good for business. Considering Connecticut’s current economic climate, we should be willing to listen and entertain all offers from any potential investor. A company’s proposal to invest in $750 million in the state’s largest cities Bridgeport and New Haven, create thousands of jobs in a region that has been plagued by lack of employment opportunities, and doing so without any state corporate subsidy or tax incentive should be considered.

Corporate subsidies, tax incentives, picking winners and losers has been an unfortunate time-honored tradition in this state and it has kept the Connecticut engine idling in park for years. Given the recent attempts to stall competition in gaming for the preservation of an established monopoly, I am reminded of a word that has been thrown about the state capitol over the last month and that word is “fairness.” Where is the “fairness” in trying to prevent a public discussion on competitive casino gaming? Where is the “fairness” in preventing a vote on a bill that allows businesses to solicit gaming and entertainment proposals? Where was the “fairness” when Governor Malloy stated, “I will not sign a transaction or bill that puts into real danger our existing arrangement with the tribal nations, nor would anyone in this building who thought about it”? Where was the “fairness” when a handful of corporations and small businesses under the Fast Five program received state subsidies at the expense of Connecticut residents and small businesses? Where was the “fairness” when the governor unilaterally negotiated a labor agreement extension for a decade? Where was the “fairness” when the Governor and Democratic Party donors circumvented the state’s clean laws to pad the coffers of his gubernatorial election campaign? Where was the “fairness” when Governor Malloy failed to release $30 million in road repair to Connecticut towns for road repair? Where was the “fairness” when a bill and public hearing that addressed the crumbling foundations in Eastern Connecticut was blocked in committee? Governor Malloy it’s time to start practicing what you preach.”



  1. Mark Lauretti was investigated by the FBI. The Department of Justice tore his life apart. Didn’t find anything to indict him but still… They must have had more than an anonymous tip phoned into the hotline.

  2. I find it interesting/curious that more of the Republican gubernatorial candidates are open to a casino in Bridgeport than the “general” Democratic Party(Malloy,state legislators,local govt officials-mayors,selectman whatever).

    1. Well you could look it up, and share with everyone the actual amount, it’s public information. Considering he’s qualified for public financing I doubt you’ll find a large amount, if any.

  3. I think it is great that a Republicn is supporting Bridgeports’s efforts. I like Mark Lauretti. He has done an amazing job in Shelton. It would have been nice if David Walker took the time to testify on behalf of the city . He did not!

    I think it helps Lauretti with the local GOP. Bridgeport is a Democratic town and Joe Ganim is more popular here than the comments on this blog would attest to.

    Regardless of which party you support, Supporting the states largest city in their attempt to bring a casino to the city is a good thing and a very big deal and it doesn’t matter when they had an epiphany.

    People are paying attention and the people want the casino. That is the only reason why politicians are supporting it. What about Trumbull? Tim Herbst?

    1. Steven,

      I resoect your enthusiasm for Bridgeport. Be realistic. The casino if it happens at all is a long way off, a LONG way off. Factoring in the political machinations, red tape and construction it will be 5-8 years before the doors open, more likely 10. That’s a long time, Steven. The legislature is going to take it’s time. Then there is the legal process, securing the necessary approvals and permits before shovels break ground. There will be lawsuits and jockeying by various interested parties looking for jobs and investment for specific communities.

      In the meantime the city’s socioeconomic problems will still be. What do you propose to address those problems between now and then? This is a sincere question. You’re a cheerleader for development, excited about the city’s future. What about the present, what do you have to say about that?

  4. Erin Stewart, the Republican mayor of New Britain, threw her hat into the ring. Stewart was elected to a third two-year term last November. She is a social media savvy thirty-year old millennial, a nice change from the middle aged white men crowding the GOP gubernatorial field.

    1. Hartford Courant

      “New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart Is All In For Governor ”

      Russell BlairContact Reporter

      A self-described fiscal conservative who is moderate to liberal on social issues, Stewart visited with President Donald Trump at the White House last month to discuss urban revitalization. But that doesn’t mean she is a steadfast supporter of the president, like some of the other Republicans in the race.

      “Anybody who’s coming out with the ‘Go Trump’ sign is not going to win the hearts of Connecticut voters, that’s for sure. Look at how badly he lost in the state,” Stewart said. “I’ve been overly critical of him and when I got the phone call to go to the office I was quite surprised. Needless to say when I went, I went there for a purpose and I made the joke afterward that they’re probably not inviting me back.”

  5. Mayor Stewart is a northeastern moderate. Fiscally conservative, socially liberal, a class of Republican that nearly vanished. 

    It disgusts me the other Republican candidates for governor, all middle-aged white men from the middle and upper classes, would even consider Donald Trump’s policies. This is Connecticut. His pseudo conservativatism and vulgar appeal didn’t gain traction here. 

    1. Derek, have notice that David Walker has seem to have gone silent, I thought that he was suppose to be a straight shooter but even Walker doesn’t have the courage to criticize 45 #scare.

  6. I agree with Ron Mackey on his take of Erin Stewart. Supporting Trump in a blue state is just plain lunacy.

    David Walker is silent on Trump and the Casino. Clearly, political suicide.

    Mayor Ganim, whether you like him or not he is reoresenting the Best of Bridgeport and elevating it across the state.

    Derek Brown, I am a cheerleader for the city. I always see the here and now and always looking at the future. I have had a vision for this city for decades. Every country I have visited I took home ideas . Whether I was in Singapore or Japan. Israel, Spain, Hong Kong etc. I see thye Poli and Majestic as well as Housing key to downtowns future. Parking garages and more housing , The Amphitheater and a connection to Steelpointe are crucial in making Bridgeport a destination. We have to start somewhere. The East side train station and the moving of the Ferry is also key. Everyone sems to fight every positive development. Whether a Casino takes 3 years or 8 is not important. What is important that it is potentially a real development. That is the kind of development that will create a synergistic effect and promote other developmental plans. Quietly the Crescent Crossing apartments have made a huge impact on the Eastside. The Cherry St. apartments and charter school will change the image on 95. We need base hits and occasional homeruns. One man can not be shouting from the roof tops. Being overly critical of the city and it’s leadership and stating you love the city is ludicrous.

    For the first time in a very long time, our city leadership is on the same page. The city will not go away with crumbs. The city will have a Casino because we will demand it. The BOE and taxpayers will reap the benefits . If I did not believe this 100 percent I would not promote it. I believe in fairness. I like Mark Lauretti’s speech and looking at the bigger picture the casino is just a piece of what will be Bridgeport’s crowning glory. New housing on Steelepointe and downtown can not come fast enough for me. Having 675 million without any money from the city, that is a first and a very welcomed investment in Bridgeport.

      1. Which question? The here and now? Well, I guess we are working on that daily. That is not a one man vision. It takes a community of optimistic people to join together and make things happen!

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