Legislators Propose Tribal-Operated Casino In Bridgeport–Lamont: Not Enough For Bridgeport

A coalition of state legislators, once on opposite sides on gaming development, will propose a new gaming bill that calls for a $100 million casino in Bridgeport and extends tribal nation control of casinos in Connecticut. It also allows the tribes that operate Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun control of sports betting in the state, something that does not sit well with one of the state’s other gaming partners Sportech that manages off-track betting.

The proposal is receiving pushback from Governor Ned Lamont. See his statement below:

From Emilie Munson, CT Post:

The bill would also authorize internet gaming run by the tribes and internet lottery sales run by the Connecticut Lottery Corporation, as well as sports betting in person and online. It would send millions more in revenue to the state and give new municipal grants of $750,000 to Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull and Waterbury.

“This is historic and has been a long-anticipated plan that now will be realized because of our joint efforts to place Connecticut back on the map,” said Sen. Dennis Bradley, D-Bridgeport.

… Eleven Democrats and Republicans–all either from Bridgeport or the areas near the tribes’ casinos–indicated their support for the legislation Wednesday.

Previously, this group was “at odds,” said Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, with one side defending the tribes’ existing casinos and the other pushing for a commercial casino in Bridgeport. The acrimony was on display at a public hearing in February when Bridgeport lawmakers and Osten loudly accused each other of trying to steal jobs.

“It was five years of being on opposite sides,” said Rosario. “There was a little bit of bad blood and things that were between us legislators that ruffled a lot of feathers.”

Full story here.

Governor Ned Lamont’s Director of Communications Max Reiss released the following statement concerning an announcement today from a group of state legislators on their proposals regarding casinos:

“Only last week did the administration receive this draft legislation. A matter of such significance requires substantial involvement from multiple stakeholders, in particular the executive branch. Something this complex should not be negotiated without all necessary parties and certainly not behind closed doors. While we are appreciative of Senator Osten’s efforts and that of the various delegations, the administration’s position remains the same: a global resolution that mitigates the likelihood of years of litigation and positions the state to capitalize on a comprehensive gaming platform. Further, this proposed bill falls short of what the governor wants for Bridgeport–a bill that only authorizes versus requires a meaningful project in Bridgeport is not good enough.

“The administration looks forward to its participation in ongoing negotiations with the tribes.”

Statement from Richard McGuire, CEO of Sportech, regarding a proposed Bill To allow Casino Expansion and a Tribal Monopoly on Sports Betting in Connecticut

This seems a very unusual move, as we enter summer, and pushes the boundaries even further than the late-session attempts to progress further casino legislation.

This proposed Bill raises the risk of further unnecessary legal challenges and places real jobs at risk across the State.

Sportech’s position, as the only licensed operator currently taking live bets, online and in venue, on approved sports in Connecticut, has never wavered, is reasonable, delivers a competitive Sports Betting product, and would benefit Connecticut.

Simply put, any Sports Betting licensing should be awarded equally to current State gambling operators. Any deviation from that creates legal challenge and does a massive disservice to the constituents of Connecticut.

A monopoly to deliver Sports, or even a duopoly provided by only the Tribes, would not be in the best interests of Connecticut or Connecticut consumers.

We respect Senator Osten, her dedication and her passion. However, we are focused on delivering a solution that benefits the State, provides a choice for all consumers and eliminates the illegal gambling market, but this proposal isn’t that.

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28 comments

  1. No hesitancy, this proposal is bad because it limits Connecticut’s best chance to make beaucoup bucks!
    Furthermore, Gov Lamont is too cozy with SEPAC and other entrenched interests. Where’d the entrepreneur go?

  2. This casino for Bridgeport is a joke and the fact that Dennis Bradley is touting its merit is further reason to believe that its bullshit. They want to spend a paltry $100 million on this casino when Mayor Ganim himself touted $400 to renovate the downtown movie theater.

    Not only does the tribes want to spend a paltry $100 million it wants sports betting, internet gambling and send municipal grants of $750,000 to Fairfield, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, Stratford, Trumbull and Waterbury. These cities get almost the amount that they are spending on the Bridgeport casino, will probably get most of the jobs and not have to deal with the crime, traffic and other problems associated with a casino. Why would Bridgeport get a lousy $100 million casino when MGM was offering the city a $635 million dollar casino that didn’t include internet gambling or sports betting. Why are the Bridgeport legislature letting the Tribal Nations shit on Bridgeport with a paltry plan that they would NEVER consider putting into any other city other than Bridgeport.
    C’mon people, this is but another reason that Bridgeport is the laughing stock of the State. Whatever they are planning to spend on the East Windsor casino, they should spend on the Bridgeport casino because after all they are getting two additional cash streams while putting another company out of business.

    1. My thoughts exactly. Not even a glorified Bingo Hall.

      Private development is worth double public dollars.

      I’m not surprised Bradley would send Bridgeport up the road, is sad to see the lines of Rosario doing it though.

      The kickbacks must be lucrative.

      1. Confucius said “Man that act like dumb ass should not be surprised if people respond accordingly.”

        Have another gimlet, Paul. Things will get better.

        1. Forget the gimlet. Soon you can get “fine scotch” and a “great cigar” at Danny Pizarros new club.
          Quote: ‘he’ll get no special treatment from planning and zoning ‘ to open his long sought after dream.
          No special treatment from planning and zoning
          Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha oh god my sides splitting!!!!! Ha ha ha ha
          He’s Mario’s driver paid for by tax dollars. Ha ha ha no special treatment. He was dumbfounded when he was told to pay all his owed back property taxes when working for Ganim when someone shined a light on this thug tax scofflaw. No special treatment. Ha ha ha ha ha. Just can’t stop laughing.
          Cheers!!!!!!!

  3. Here’s why Dennis Bradley should change his mind: by granting control of all gambling to The Tribes he would be limiting Connecticut’s major, new revenue source. Blame would be placed at his feet until the end of time.
    Gambling revenue would follow TOLLS as another way Connecticut is allowing its revenue visibility to be outsourced to an indifferent, third party, out of state company.
    That wouldn’t be a proud, legislative legacy. That would be an enduring, legislative tragedy!

  4. This should be tie-up in court for years, MMCT LLC. wants total control of the gaming industry in CT with out oversight?.
    Feeble Joe, sold out Bridgeport again! A Very Weak Mayor!

    1. Little Joe Ganim sold out the city a long long time ago. The Department of Justice prosecuted him for it. Then he was re-elected after “confessing” his sins before Reverend Charlie’s congregation. He sold us out yet again when his grossly inflated ego compelled him to seek the governorship. As if educated suburban voters would vote for a convicted felon and disbarred attorney.

      Now Little Joe is selling us out yet again, in the form of campaign contributions that buy no bid contracts. And let’s not forget the police officer driving around collecting absentee ballots at the direction of Mario Testa. And what about those ABs that turned up at the U.S. Post Office on Middle Street downtown, the ones that bore no post mark? Lest we forget Ganim had dozens of BHA residents bussed to various polling places to perform their civic duty for twenty bucks each. It is a little disappointing none of them held out for fifty.

      Ain’t politics great?!

  5. A $100 million dollar casino? Basically Shoreline Star with a food court,couple high end restaurants and a “warehouse”type room with gambling.The tribes will do just enough to quiet the masses,last thing they want is a big development,resort/casino to take away buisness upstate.Meanwhile Joe will latch on to this and use it as his corner stone for re-election.In the end though,it won’t happen.

    1. The tribes will not be building this. They can’t afford Windsor; this is just an attempt to “hold” the property so that MGM is out of the game.

  6. I hope the feds get involved for payoffs and corruption. Please MGM take this to court.Sue the state, ganim and the legislature. A no bid contract for this amount is dispicable.

  7. Bradley Named Chair Of Key Public Safety Committee, Pledges Transparent Commercial Casino Process
    January 8, 2019 LennieGrimaldi

    Jimfox says:
    January 9, 2019 at 8:06 am
    I think Looney, just handed a gift to the Tribes.

  8. The casino is a nonstarter. Little Joe Ganim is transparent; we can see through his bullshit. This is just another bone tossed to the socio-economically depressed neighborhoods of the East Side. He really ought to try plate spinning or juggling mothballs.

  9. Well,that’s that..

    HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont’s Director of Communications Max Reiss released the following statement concerning an announcement today from a group of state legislators on their proposals regarding casinos:

    “Only last week did the administration receive this draft legislation. A matter of such significance requires substantial involvement from multiple stakeholders, in particular the executive branch. Something this complex should not be negotiated without all necessary parties and certainly not behind closed doors. While we are appreciative of Senator Osten’s efforts and that of the various delegations, the administration’s position remains the same: a global resolution that mitigates the likelihood of years of litigation and positions the state to capitalize on a comprehensive gaming platform. Further, this proposed bill falls short of what the governor wants for Bridgeport – a bill that only authorizes versus requires a meaningful project in Bridgeport is not good enough.

    “The administration looks forward to its participation in ongoing negations with the tribes.”

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