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Legislative Committee Sends Casino Bills To State House And Senate

March 15th, 2017 · 20 Comments · Development and Zoning, News and Events

The state legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee on Wednesday sent two casino bills to the full General Assembly for debate, one a third casino operated by the state’s two tribal nations and the other for a competitive gaming process backed by Bridgeport State House members Chris Rosario and Ezequiel Santiago.

From Kenneth Gosselin, Hartford Courant:

The competing casino expansion bill that would open up the process to more proposals could require the legislature to give final approval to any operator chosen in a process led by the state consumer protection department, under revisions to the bill that will be considered by a legislative committee Wednesday.

The bill comes up against the other proposed legislation that would allow the partnership by the operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to establish a “satellite” casino in East Windsor.

Full story here.

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20 Comments so far ↓

  • Bob Walsh

    You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em
    Know when to fold ‘em
    Know when to walk away
    And know when to run
    You never count your money
    When you’re sittin’ at the table
    There’ll be time enough for countin’
    When the dealin’s done

    Here is the compromise. The joint venture makes an offer. Up their payments to the state on the separate casinos AND the joint venture. Include all the games and not just some. Guaranteed money if they care to make it.

    Then open up the process to other casino operators. Build where they want and see what happens. The RFP can be written to give preferential treatment to the joint venture in recognition of what they have paid in the past.

    But we do not wait until next year to request an RFP. Sixty days after passage is the RFP deadline.

    Roll the dice and see what happens!

  • Mojo

    This news reminds me of the song, “Dreaming!”

  • Jeff Kohut

    The Bridgeport GA should be united behind the competitive bill. Their allegiance is to Bridgeport–the urban center that permits the region to continue to proposer even as it depletes our resources and general well-being. After decades of this criminal modus operandi, it is time to change the dynamic in the logical direction in favor of the largest electorate and service provider. Those of the Bridgeport delegation not on board, need to be sent packing/retired.

  • charlie

    There are several outcomes possible with only one good for the southwestern part of the state.

    The State could grant the two tribes the commercial license, which it must be, and will be tied up in an expensive litigation process. MGM will seek an injunction halting the construction ’til all adjudication is completed, with the state eventually losing.

    MGM could be granted the license; the slot revenue stops. This would require a bridge payment by MGM for the lost revenue. The two tribes would eventually fall by the wayside.

    The second is the best outcome for the region and state.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Hey, is the Chairman of the DTC, Mario, in support of a Bridgeport casino? I read a CT Post article saying he was not in favor of one in 2014 and preferred a slot machine facility because of how the casinos in Atlantic City were faring. MGM and Springfield were working on a casino resort in 2012.

    Others on this blog who are not in support of a Bridgeport casino reference Atlantic City in their argument against it. I still can’t understand the analogy. How can a city of 40,000 with half-a-dozen casinos fall in hard times? Connecticut was still receiving hundreds of millions from just our two casinos. If casinos were closing it was because of bigger, better, and new ones were opening up. Just four of them could have employed the city’s whole population. What was the city receiving in taxes, and percentage of the revenues?

    If this is true then the man at the helm is underdeveloping the city.
    www .ctpost.com/local/article/Ganim-takes-wait-and-see-tack-on-Bridgeport-11007803.php

    • charlie

      Who cares what Mario says? He is small potatoes in this, just a customer. Felon Ganim is supporting the Schaghticoke, who have no territory or legal rights in this venture.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Everybody should care or at least those who want to see this city succeed in any kind of stature, financial, and quality of life for its residents.

    If Mario, the leader of the DTC that helms the political discourse that influences the direction of how Bridgeport is run and developed, people should care. I hope you care.

    Maybe that’s why instead of tearing down these old burnt-out factories and buildings, we’re remodeling them instead of building new modern complexes. When did remodeling an old factory or building trump a brand new building?

    Mario is holding a fundraiser of Ganim for what? To influence Joe to underdevelop the city?

    PS all this land was theirs (Indians). What legal right did anyone have to take it away from them? The Lord gives it, the Lord can take it away.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Charlie, you said felon Joe is supporting the Schaghticoke. I take it you are in support of the Golden Hill Paugussett, by your posts (I think). I don’t think either have federal recognition, which is required to open up a casino.

    Here is why it’s kind of an issue as to what the leader of Bridgeport politics says and wants for the future of the city.

    Without getting into all the legal issues (my limited assumption),

    If the state wants to keep it’s slot fund, only recognized tribes are allowed to run casinos. Not sure if that applies if they or another recognized tribe opens one up on non-tribal land. If the fund goes away if a new casino is opened in East Windsor, the state’s fucked either way.

    Now let’s say the fund stays if a recognized tribe were to open up a casino on non-tribal land. The most profitable for the state is to keep gaming to tribes.

    Okay now, where is the best place for the state to allow a casino, who should build it, and what type should be built, to maximize its return for the state as a whole?

    Obviously a tribe that has the least leverage in the negotiation with the host city, surrounding cities or towns, and the state.

    Bridgeport is far ahead of the pack on location if development is in its best interest as far as revenue generated by a casino.

    Tribes like who you and Joe are supporting have the least leverage to negotiate than Foxwoods and Mohegan. They have no money, outside forces have to bankroll them and provide the experience to run a resort casino.

    So they are going to need a lot of support from the state and federal level, as well as private gaming industry.

    This is why people should care. If Mario, as a leader of the city, is not in favor of a resort casino that could transform Bridgeport into a tourist destination, but some type of cheap slot facility destination. That doesn’t bode well for the city, its residents, or its future.

    This is why I can’t understand why the city council staged the Sanctuary City debate to pit the city, Joe against the ones who are currently holding the purse strings in Washington, for what? It truly doesn’t help the exploited undocumented workers. Sanctuary Status doesn’t help or hinder the city’s law enforcement with ICE.

    It’s just a poke in the eye at Trump and Washington. There are consequences in picking a fight with those holding the purse strings. That 21 Century Grant to Bridgeport is going to be cut by half. That’s the game this city’s playing.

  • charlie

    Some of your premises are incorrect. The state made a compact with the two tribes no other casino could open, Indian or not, any other casino that opens in CT would violate the compact between the state and the two tribes along with the state of agreement between the BIA and CT. This would require the two tribes to go back to the BIA for their slot agreement which could be reduced. If any of the three remaining tribes get federal recognition, which is possible, they could open on their tribal historical territory ONLY. Kent for the Schaghticoke, Bridgeport for the Paugussetts and Ledyard for the Eastern Pequots.

    These land claims must be documented by written proof. For example the Paugussetts have proof of ownership by deed etc. Once this data is established, the courts will agree and negotiations between the host city and tribe agree upon finances. It should be kept in mind that an Indian land claim has never lost.

    Once the agreement is verified, a financial backer will beat a path to the door. The estimated gross from a facility in the city is at least a billion a year.

    So as you can see the only entity holding the purse is the tribe.

  • Robert Teixeira

    No, the Federal government is holding the purse and most of the cards.

    Without federal recognition the tribe you are supporting goes nowhere.

    If they grant Eastern Pequots, Foxwoods and Mohegan gains competition not from MGM casino in another state.

    Let’s focus on Bridgeport. There are many options. The state and federal government renegotiates with Foxwoods and Mohegan regarding the slot fund to do gaming expansion. They can leverage the threat of granting the Eastern Pequots recognition and a third casino. Both Foxwood and Mohegan will lose far more with a third casino in Ledyard than what they are giving to the state now.

    As far as Bridgeport is concerned the only tribe that can build a casino is Paugussetts, right, if they are granted Federal recognition. So you’re fighting for the Paugussetts for a casino in Bridgeport because they have a legal territorial claim, but without Federal recognition they can’t build one, and they have to go through this crazy land claim stuff if they are granted recognition. And that just the starting point.

    You’re saying Joe is backing a tribe that is not recognized and if they were to be recognized, they are unable to build a casino in Bridgeport.

    This is why it matters what the leader of the Bridgeport DTC, Mario says and wants for the city. He’s raising money for Joe, and he’s doesn’t want a casino, don’t you think it matters? Why would Joe support a tribe that can’t build a casino in the city?

    Again we go back to leverage, the state needs to keep funds, Foxwoods and Mohegan will lose far more than what they’re giving to the state if the Eastern Pequots were granted recognition. That’s how you solve that minor problem.

    Commercial gaming like MGM, Wynn, works with the city, state, federal government, and private land owners like SPEG, Pleasure Beach, Steel Point, Seaview Ave to create a waterfront casino and other developments that generate revenue and jobs.
    Here’s what I don’t understand ,how Foxwoods and Mohegan are able to open a casino in East Windsor? Couldn’t they open one up in Bridgeport and tell the state let me open a casino in Bridgeport and we will still pay you the slot fund? They make more money with a casino in Bridgeport than in East Windsor. They could use the slot fund as leverage to do so on a commercial level. So they have leverage to build a casino in Bridgeport on commercial level with the state.

    The real question is how this city is going to be developed.
    This is my simple plan and it’s not about whom but what and how. The new gas plan needs to be relocated by RESCO where O&G wants to move their rock pile. How it’s done I don’t care, just do it. Look what was done for Steel Point for the greater good of the city. Then the city and developers will have four points on the waterfront, Steel Point, Pleasure Beach, the old coal plant, and Seaview Ave, and that’s some serious real estate, people. The Resort casino, the economic engine, on Pleasure Beach the other waterfront points, development to continue Bridgeport as a tourist destination. Be creative but not underdeveloped the city
    It’s not what can become of the city, it’s what will become of the city, and that why it fucking matters.

    It seems to me like everybody is leveraging more for themselves than for the city. Mario wants to keep control of the city slush fund for patronage; you’re supporting a tribe that’s not even recognized. Joe I don’t know what he’s fucking up to. The FBI Agent who locked him up is his adviser.

  • Robert Teixeira

    Charlie, it seems no matter what if any third casino in the state were to open, the state, Foxwoods and Mohegan are going to have to renegotiate the pact.

    It also seems, according to MGM, the state is not receiving its fair share of revenue. Who is to say if the pact were revisited the state wouldn’t receive more?

    It’s not like the Indians never got fucked by the government.

    While people like you are focusing on who, those on the don’t, and Mario on control of city patronage, either kissing his ring or ass.

    That actually makes since based on the post, Mario keeps score on what city employees go to his fundraiser. Mario could see casino cash as a threat to control in city influence. That’s why he’s against it.

    The key in the city’s development is how and what is developed. And I will stand by the need for the city to negotiate with SPEG to have the new gas power plant relocated by the RESCO. The gas power plant will employ 20 people. The RESCO location is not a factor in its existence, it needs to be moved by the city’s other power plant for the greater good of the city’s development. The only think I can think of in the relocation is the size and capacity of the plant, based on the new relocation. Make it work. That land, old coal waterfront plant, can be far more utilized for the greater good of the city in jobs and revenue. I’m sure a plant by RESCO on the West Side with some creativity they could get to somewhat what is being planned.

    Charlie, the silence on this tells me, people like you, Mario, and other political and city activists to negotiate on this golden opportunity to acquire major waterfront property with little or no cost to the a new plant, that will enhance the city’s waterfront property for major redevelopment for jobs, revenue, is more about what’s in it for me than what’s best for city and its residents.

  • charlie

    Robert, I am going to get in the weeds. Read my testimony at the casino hearing in Hartford. The state will lose money unless a casino is opened in Bridgeport. Four casinos will open in Mass and RI within two years. The revenue from our two casinos will drop to 150 million. There are only two viable options for the state, legalize commercial gaming or stop the federal opposition to the Paugussetts. Having Ganim and Mario on your side is of no benefit. This city will be saved and state only by the two options.

  • Robert Teixeira

    My points are simple.

    1. Mario doesn’t want a casino, so it matters what the chairman of the DTC says and wants.

    2. You are saying the mayor, Joe, is supporting a tribe that is not recognized, and if they were to gain recognition, they can’t have a casino in the city. I can only assume if you know this the mayor does as well. So what is it to Joe, more importantly to the city, if the Schaghticoke gets recognition? What influence does a “felon,” your word, have over the Federal recognition process?

    3. If more casinos are opening up, Foxwood, Mohegan and the state loses.

    4. I agree Bridgeport is the best location for the new gaming casino, maybe two, but if Mario’s not interested in the future of the city with a resort casino but some cheap slot facility, what else and other developments does he see as a right fit for Bridgeport?

    That’s why it matters. You say the mayor is supporting a tribe that can’t build a casino in the city. What support is he providing in a process that’s not even in the city or state hands?

    5. The state has to look out for what’s in the best interest of the state. So it is ultimately the state’s decision to expand gaming. It’s up to the Federal government to grant any tribe recognition. So what does your testimony in Hartford have over the impact on the Paugussetts getting Federal recognition that’s needed to open up a casino in Bridgeport or Joe with the Schaghticoke?

    6. In the article Joe said he’s not wasting much time on this because it is up to the state to decide, if they, the state, says Bridgeport is the best location for casino, then they, the state, and he, the city, will have to talk. Also I stand by my assumption if and when the state, the tribes, and the BIA renegotiate the pact it can go in favor for the state more than the tribes.

    7. You are in the weeds because your support is for the Paugussetts, a tribe that doesn’t have Federal recognition or any land in Bridgeport.

    Let’s focus on Bridgeport. There are only two cards for a Bridgeport casino. The state allows Commercial gaming, or they grant the tribes that have Federal recognition the right to build a casino resort in Bridgeport. You’re playing a wild card with the Paugussetts and according to you Joe’s in left field with the Schaghticoke.

    8. One or two casinos in Bridgeport doesn’t make a city, however when you have the leader, who runs Bridgeport politics, against a development that is transformative for the city and its residents, you have to ask what and where is he leading the city. When I was at the St. Patrick’s Day parade Downtown I saw a building with steel beams sticking out from the side, like buttresses. I’m like are they trying to stop it from falling down or remodeling it. It’s not like the building has some historical architectural significance, and apparently I don’t think it matters because in the past this city leadership demolished significant architectural, enriched buildings. We are remodeling these old factories like they are meaningful developments.

    So yes it matters, how, where and what Mario says regarding development futures. So it matters what Mario and the mayor say.

  • charlie

    1. Doesn’t matter what he says, the DTC has no say so in Federal matters.
    2. Ganim thinks he can do whatever HE WANTS. That’s why he spent years in jail.
    3. You give Mario more power than he deserves.
    4. Read the book the History of Connecticut’s Golden Hill Paugussetts.
    5. You are wrong, if anything it will decrease.
    6. I am in the weeds because of the law.

  • Robert Teixeira

    1. A. Yes it matters for the city as a whole what Mario, the DTC Chairman, says and wants for the city.

    B. Does the state have any say in Federal matters regarding Federal recognition for the Paugussetts?

    2. A. Does Ganim have a say in Federal Recognition for any tribe?

    B. You’re giving Ganim more power than he has or deserves.

    3. A. What is Mario doing with the power he has? Other than keeping score with city employees by seeing who either is kissing his ass or his ring at his fundraiser.

    B. What developments does he, Mario sees as a fit for the city? Resort casinos are not things he wants for the city. It matters to the city and the state.

    4. A. I’m not saying Paugussetts shouldn’t get Federal recognition. I’m saying focus on Bridgeport. The State has no say in who the Federal Government gives recognition to. That’s a broader issue and very complex with legal issues that will take years, maybe decades to resolve. That being said, what the state has control over is either granting commercial gaming, or telling Foxwoods and Mohegan, Bridgeport is where the state wants its third casino.

    B. So your support for the Paugussetts is not the best option for Bridgeport casinos, and what the state has control over. Does it matter what you say? Yes to the state just like it matters what Mario says and wants for the city, Joe as well. How much, I don’t know. I don’t want to give anyone more power than they deserve.

    5. A. Yes you are in the weeds because of the laws. As of now the law says the only tribes that can build in CT are Foxwoods and Mohegan on their own land, which they are currently doing. This is about creating new laws and rights. If you’re truly doing what you’re doing for the city, Bridgeport, it should be more about why is Bridgeport the best location for Connecticut’s gaming expansion. What types of gaming facilities would bring the maximum return for the state in revenue and job creations, how many casinos, where they should be built in the city, how many can the state and region handle without having a negative impact in the region in industry. Then who are the ones who can deliver the best casinos. Again focus on Bridgeport. That is why when Mario says he wants a cheap slot machine facility, it matters for the city and the state. It mattered then and it matters now. What doesn’t matter to the city and state is if the Paugussetts, Foxwoods or MGM build the maximum return resort casino for the city and state, while it is relevant who builds the casinos that’s the small potatoes.

    6. A. Read the history books of the governments and the Indians.

    B. If the pact is not completing eliminated and legally the pact has to be renegotiated and a new pact has to be created, it can go whichever way they want it to go. Just like the Paugussetts gaining Federal recognition. We both know the history of Golden Hill Paugussetts is not a guarantee for Federal recognition. Focus on Bridgeport. It matters.

  • Robert Teixeira

    PS. I will stand by my maximum return for the city and state. Foxwoods and Mohegan use the slot fund as leverage with the state to build mega casinos in Bridgeport. One on Pleasure Beach with facilities along the beach and one at the old coal plant. Satellites gaming ferry boats up and down Long Island Sound transporting patrons.

  • charlie

    Read the book!

    • Robert Teixeira

      Any suggestions? Are you one of the cut the baby (Bridgeport) in half? If the Paugussetts don’t get to build a casino in Bridgeport, forget about it. I’m not disagreeing with you on a Bridgeport casino. Come to think of it, I recently read Lennie’s ONLY IN BRIDGEPORT. SMH.

  • charlie

    Read the History of Connecticut’s Golden Hill Paugussetts. It is at the library.

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