One day after Connecticut’s two tribal nations expressed interest in opening a gaming destination in the city, the senior vice president of MGM Resorts International Uri Clinton declares in a letter to Governor Dan Malloy and legislative leaders “That the Tribes also ‘see the tremendous potential of Bridgeport’ confirms our analysis that Bridgeport is by far the best situated location in the state for a commercial casino–and the only location with the potential to actually grow the State’s gaming revenue.” Clinton adds “We would welcome the opportunity to compete for a Connecticut commercial gaming license, along with the Tribes and any other interested parties.
MGM has consistently urged the State of Connecticut to establish a competitive process in order to ensure that it would maximize the benefits–in jobs, economic development and revenue–that would accrue to the state and its residents.
The Tribes request yesterday to be “part of that discussion,” is good news for the people of Connecticut. There appears to be, for the first time, agreement that such a discussion is in the state’s best interest.
That the Tribes also “see the tremendous potential of Bridgeport” confirms our analysis that Bridgeport is by far the best situated location in the state for a commercial casino–and the only location with the potential to actually grow the State’s gaming revenue.
We have urged the state to establish a process “where every operator, including the Tribes, can put their best option on the table. The state can then choose how they maximize jobs, maximize revenues.”
We welcome the Tribes’ interest in such a process, and urge state leadership, in the 2018 General Assembly session, to do what is truly best for the people of Connecticut. MGM has participated in competitive processes in other states, as have the Tribes, and we are prepared to do so in Connecticut.
As you know, MGM has advocated consistently for a modernized gaming policy in Connecticut, one that would be inclusive of tens of millions of dollars in licenses fees to be paid to the state; a market analysis that would determine how best to reverse the downward trend in gaming revenue paid to the state; and a constitutionally sound selection process that would avoid the prospect of litigation with the federal government. From a public policy perspective, these are essential elements, particularly in light of the dramatically altered landscape in the industry and in all the states surrounding Connecticut.
Connecticut now has a second chance to get it right. We have already selected our site, and we have put our proposal on the table for all to see. We look forward to being a part of a new, open, competitive, transparent process, and we are convinced, now as before, that it would serve the state well.
Our proposal for MGM Bridgeport, a $675 million destination resort on the waterfront in Bridgeport, features 100% private funding and no tax dollars required. It is a plan that will result in 7,000 jobs, provide a regional workforce development center to be located in New Haven and an economic boost to the region and the state, annual payments to the city and surrounding communities, and will offer substantial opportunities for a range of small businesses.
We are proud of the proposal we have developed, the partnerships we have established, and the increasing support we have earned. We intend to aggressively advocate for our interest in Bridgeport in a way that benefits residents throughout the region and across the State of Connecticut.
MGM has always indicated its support for a policy to establish commercial gaming in Connecticut in an open, competitive process, and we intend to continue that advocacy in the 2018 legislative session. We would welcome the opportunity to compete for a Connecticut commercial gaming license, along with the Tribes and any other interested parties.