Log in Register

 

 Sunday July 22, 2018

Curtis Ryan Honda Housatonic Community College The Barnum Museum Elle Sera Bridgeport Public LibraryOIB the book

State House Approves Gaming Bill, Advances To Senate

May 5th, 2018 · 24 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Development and Zoning, News and Events, State Politics

MGM Bridgeport rendering

Rendering of MGM Bridgeport.

By a 77-73 margin on Friday the State House approved a bill that allows an open, competitive process for a commercial casino in Connecticut that includes a $675 million waterfront gaming destination proposed by MGM. The bill now goes on to the State Senate in the last days of the legislative session. Even if it does not come up for a vote, MGM executive Uri Clinton tells OIB MGM will return in January 2019 for the next session. The House vote tally here.

This bill is a roller-coaster work in progress with supporters of MGM advancing a case against the monopoly-driven compact signed by the state 25 years ago in which Connecticut receives 25 percent of the slot take in exchange for granting the tribal nations that operate Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun exclusivity. The gaming monopoly money to the state has diminished in recent years with a promise from MGM to more than cover the losses in an open contest. The tightness of the vote reflects the work of Bridgeport and New Haven legislative delegations in support of an open process pushing against the eastern Connecticut delegations sensitive to the tribal monopoly. And that’s the rub. The tribal nations say we’ll do something (small) in Bridgeport if you hand it over without a competitive process.

In the long haul, however, government gaming monopolies run out of gas. The tribal nations have done little to build good will in Bridgeport while MGM is making a case.

The MGM proposal calls for 7000 jobs, an $8 million annual host fee, in addition to annual property taxes projected at $15-20 million. The position of the tribal nations is this: we control a monopoly, if you want that to continue we will do something in Bridgeport (but nothing on the level of what MGM proposes). The MGM proposal also calls for a job training center in New Haven.

Bridgeport’s State House delegation: Jack Hennessy, Steve Stafstrom, Chris Rosario, Ezequiel Santiago, Charlie Stallworth, Andre Baker.

Statement from Uri Clinton:

“As a result of the bi-partisan support of members of Connecticut’s House of Representatives, the state is one step closer to adopting a best-in-class process for possible selection of a commercial casino operator. We look forward to continuing this discussion and supporting the legislation as it continues to move through the legislative process. And we look forward to the Senate and Governor concurring with the House, so that the competitive process can begin, companies including the Tribes can put forth their proposals, and the state can determine the deal that’s best for Connecticut. While we anticipate that several Tribal and commercial gaming operators will ultimately participate in an open RFP process, MGM is committed to making sure that its proposal for a $675 million casino and entertainment facility in Bridgeport and a regional workforce development center in New Haven is world class. MGM is ready to make the same quality long-term investment in Connecticut as we have done and continue to do in other Northeastern gaming jurisdictions.”

From State House delegation:

A bill, championed by the Bridgeport legislative delegation, that would permit and implement an open and competitive Request for Proposal process for private or tribal entities to bid for a qualification to develop, manage and operate a casino gaming facility in Connecticut passed the state House of Representatives Friday.

House Bill 5305, “An Act Concerning a Request for Proposals to Qualify an Entity to Develop a Casino Gaming Facility in the State,” passed in a 77 to 73 vote. The bill now heads to the state Senate for further action.

Under this legislation, casino operators would be able to submit proposals to the state departments of Community Development and Consumer Protection. The legislation states that the bids would need to include an investment of at least $500 million and the creation of 2,000 jobs. H.B. 5305 would also require the casino operator to make a $5 million deposit for each application.

“The ability to expand casino gaming in Connecticut will help create countless opportunities for Connecticut. It’s an opportunity to invest in the development of our state so our urban cores can be the economic drivers Connecticut needs to thrive. It’s an opportunity to create thousands of new, good-paying job opportunities for our residents. It’s an opportunity to increase revenue for the state, helping to steady our bottom line. And it’s an opportunity to enhance foot traffic along the New Haven and Bridgeport corridor, helping to make Connecticut’s two-largest cities tourist destinations,” the Bridgeport House Delegation said.

Statement from Mayor Joe Ganim:

The bill opens the door to further commercial casino gaming in Connecticut, and could potentially bring 7,000 jobs to Bridgeport if a plan by Las Vegas based MGM to build a $675 Million resort casino on the Bridgeport waterfront becomes a reality.

“I am extremely proud of the determination, courage and leadership of the Bridgeport legislative delegation, who together with their partners from New Haven and the entire region stood up for substantial growth in jobs and revenue for all of Connecticut. This vote sends a strong signal to the business community that we support fair play in the marketplace, we support open competition and we are open for business. I want to thank lawmakers from all over the state of Connecticut and members of both parties who have the vision to bet on the Bridgeport-New Haven region. The fact is: if we do invest in real growth on the Bridgeport waterfront, we can attract tourists and investors from the New York City region–the largest metropolitan area in the country–and beyond! We want to maximize jobs and revenue and this bill gets us closer to doing that without harming with the investments we have already made in Eastern Connecticut with tribal gaming and all the benefits that provides to our state. This bill commits us to nothing and allows us to examine the very best way to move forward with gaming in Connecticut. This is a very exciting development for our state–with the potential for 7,000 jobs and $300 million in additional annual revenue for Connecticut at no cost to taxpayers. I urge our State Senate to pass this bill so our taxpayers can get the best deal in the future.”

Share

Tags: ·······

24 Comments so far ↓

  • Jimfox

    List of casinos In New York State
    List of casinos in the U.S. state of New York
    Casino
    City
    County
    State
    District
    Type
    Comments
    Akwesasne Mohawk Casino
    Hogansburg
    Franklin
    New York

    Native American

    Batavia Downs Casino
    Batavia
    Genesee
    New York

    Racino

    Del Lago Resort and Casino
    Tyre
    Seneca
    New York

    Commercial
    All table games permitted.
    Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway
    Yonkers
    Westchester
    New York

    Racino
    All table games are automated.
    The Fairgrounds Gaming
    Hamburg
    Erie
    New York

    Racino

    Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino
    Islandia
    Suffolk
    New York

    Commercial

    Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track
    Farmington
    Ontario
    New York

    Racino

    Lakeside Entertainment
    Union Springs
    Cayuga
    New York

    Native American

    Mohawk Bingo Palace and Casino
    Akwesasne
    Franklin
    New York

    Native American

    Monticello Gaming & Raceway
    Monticello
    Sullivan
    New York

    Racino

    Point Place Casino
    Bridgeport
    Madison
    New York

    Native American
    Scheduled to open in March 2018[1]
    Resorts World Catskills
    Kiamesha Lake
    Sullivan
    New York

    Commercial

    Resorts World New York City
    Ozone Park
    Queens
    New York

    Racino
    All table games are automated.
    Rivers Casino & Resort
    Schenectady
    Schenectady
    New York

    Commercial
    All table games permitted
    Saratoga Casino and Raceway
    Saratoga Springs
    Saratoga
    New York

    Racino

    Seneca Allegany Casino
    Salamanca
    Cattaraugus
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino
    Buffalo
    Erie
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Irving
    Irving
    Cattaraugus
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Oil Spring
    Cuba
    Allegany
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Salamanca
    Salamanca
    Cattaraugus
    New York

    Native American

    Seneca Niagara Casino
    Niagara Falls
    Niagara
    New York

    Native American

    Tioga Downs & Casino
    Nichols
    Tioga
    New York

    Racino

    Turning Stone Resort & Casino
    Verona
    Oneida
    New York

    Native American

    Vernon Downs & Casino
    Vernon
    Oneida
    New York

    Racino

    Yellow Brick Road Casino
    Chittenango
    Madison
    New York

  • Steven Auerbach

    Congratulations to our delegation and Mayor Ganim. So many haters on this blog. I am proud of everyone of our elected officials. Kudos to our State Reps: Charlie Stallworth,Eziquiel Santiago,Steve Stastrom, Christopher Rosario, Andre Baker and our State Senators, Marilyn Moore and Ed Gomes. I am also proud of our Mayor that has been taking Bridgeport on the road across the state Marketing this city like nobody else as he runs for Governor.

    I also want to thank everyone for their input on Facebook. Yes – Our guys did a great job. Kelvin Ayala and Mickey Herbert read your posts also. I guess Hartford was a cast of the best of Bridgeport. I am proud and wished I was there with my best friend Jim Fox :-) supporting the Casino’s and hoping for tax relief!!!

    • Steven Auerbach

      every one

    • John Marshall Lee

      “So many haters on this blog.”
      This phrase offered by OIB regular, Steve Auerbach, who has allowed himself the use of hyperbole that corrupts the public forum of comments about public issues, concerns and problems. If comments run counter to SA’s favorite politician of the moment, is it hatred? Or is it more a terrible disappointment that Mayor Ganim2 “has been taking Bridgeport on the road across the state Marketing this city like nobody else as he runs for Governor”??? And is he really asking those voters, citizens of other towns and cities, to prioritize our 21,000 school youth?? When they look at his example as Mayor, would they wish to join him in essentially flat funding, also??
      And Steve, since you are being fed by the public tax dollar these days, what would tax relief look like?? Are you also willing to share your title and department in your current engagement as a City employee?? A City job with a City check and benefit compensation does change some people’s attitude toward their employer and employment in general. Perhaps you are willing to provide other readers with your current status in an OPEN, ACCOUNTABLE, TRANSPARENT and HONEST manner? Imagine, Steve Auerbach moving into the subject of “tax relief”? Time will tell.

      • Steven Auerbach

        John Marshall Lee lets be perfectly clear- Haters on the blog is a person that makes disparaging remarks about an elected official- That’s all. Disagreeing with my political stand is fine and has always been fine. A hater is a person who only likes drone on about any official in office. You would be one of those. I do not think you are one of the haters , you just bore the shit out of me and it has nothing to do with your politics. You just always love to inject yourself into others comments. The great , fantastic news for yourself is you have a lt of company and new friends on th blog that agree with you. You know- The in crowd- NOT. You hav to know I have no intention of going back and forth with yu or anyone on any political subject from this point on. I’ll make my observation and change the channel. I realize this has become the anti Ganim show and before that the Anti- Finch show. The Responders have become fewer and far between. People have become bored. I do thank you fr always spelling my name correctly. We no longer need to be cordial. I have no intention of responding to any further comments that address me . John Marshall lee as you knw I am making 180,000 a year. The biggest paycheck under the Superintendent and my working for the city is absolutely none of your business nor has it changed my opinion of any of the politicos I have known for years. It just means I have come back to work for the city. I just don’t have a “Bridge”. My income s really none of your business. You may post my wekly check if you’d like- I’d rather enjoy seeing your jealousy in print. I think Mary Bruce can help with the facts. I however will not be responding to any future posts. Please go and discuss your agenda with Ron Mackey, I understand he wants to meet for coffee.

        • John Marshall Lee

          I can remember the days when I was criticized for long blog entries, and since you became employed in a position in the City in PUBLIC FACILITIES DIVISION, one of the political arms in the City, your entries are longer, and more strident.
          Last night you spoke a truth about the North End homeowners to the Council. If the tools are not present in Zoning, Health, Blight departments, what do you suggest that the Council do?
          Words alone, drone. But numbers that compare activities, time periods, resource dollars dedicated to purpose or just plain actions make their own sound – KA CHING, KA CHING that rhymes with BLING, you know.
          And, Steve, when you are on the City payroll, the term you should think about when you look in the mirror is “public servant”. So, how are you serving me in your role as a public servant? What project are you held accountable for? That is a fair question that when you refuse to answer is just one more symptom of the Bridgeport sickness.
          When you blog, you do so on your own time, I have always assumed, and you have assured us, when you lunch. At that moment you are a citizen, but you cannot get away from being a City employee, able, trained, motivated to perform the duty for which you were hired. And that work is honorable, right? What do you do for citizens when lunch is completed? Time will tell.

    • Steven Auerbach

      I apologize for not mentioning State Rep. Jack Hennessy.

  • charlie

    I have been going to Springfield daily and I can assure you MGM wants Bridgeport. If the two tribes try to withhold their payments because the senate would vote yes for the bill, then game on. The state could flood the sate with slots, legalize on line poker, or a myriad of other moves to offset this blackmail. These tribes have had it too easy for this monopoly for too long. How dare they try to blackmail the people. Perhaps they could outbid MGM? This would require them to come up with financing, which is very unlikely. However, if they could there could be a bidding war on job creation, benefits or ancillary jobs. That would be a win, win for everybody.

  • Jeff Kohut

    Great job, GA delegation! Great news for Bridgeport!
    Now let’s run with this opportunity and use it wisely. Let’s make sure that Bridgeport gets a fantastic deal to build upon… We shouldn’t sell ourselves short on the value of our location to MGM and the other bidders… Let’s maximize this opprtunity…

  • Stringfellow

    Good news and promises seldom come to Bridgeport and often are very slow. A friend of my father’s kept his boat at the end of California Street in 1993 that was 25 years ago. Back then there was talk of Steel Point. Back then there were homes and businesses in the area of Bass Pro. Once the area was cleared it sat vacant a long time, Bass Pro opened up three years ago.

    Unless I missed something the CarTec property still needs to be cleaned up. If that has not been done who is going to pay for that?

    Are they now going to consider dredging the harbor? The question remains and always been where are they going to dump the silt? That can has been kicked down the road for years.

    What about the extra traffic on I-95?

    This bill is just one hurdle that has cleared, let’s not get too excited.

    Yes Bass Pro was built along with three other businesses. Look how long that took. The dock master building is going up but who knows what bar and restaurant is going in there? Who is to say that the jobs are already spoken for? When Two Roads was going up,they had the people they were going to hire already in mind.

    PC Richards has had a sign on their door since they opened that they were not hiring.

    I am in my mid 50′s I hope I live long enough to see a shovel go in the ground.

    • Kelvin Ayala

      The Car Tec site is being cleaned up with all EPA regulations and monitoring. That cleanup is being done and paid for by Bridgeport Development Landing, NOT the city of Bridgeport. BDL will partner on this land use with MGM BPT should they have the opportunity to move this project along further.

      BDL is big risk taker here, they will be saddled with the expenses, property taxes, and responsibility to develop this site should this project die. Throw that on top of continued development of Steelpointe.

    • John Marshall Lee

      A number of subjects and issues you raise are relevant to the Port Authority Commission. Any word from them on what has happened there during Ganim2 administration? Meetings? Minutes? Money….no financial reports covering the Finch years, a nearly Million dollar debt payoff with City bonded funds (unaccounted for) …..property sales at ????value????provide money to City currently…and who will keep us alert to opportunity with a full complement of Commission members, not City employees who vote the way their pay and benefits command? Look into the subject. It is not likely to tell its own story. Time will tell.

  • Jeff Kohut

    If the bill can get through the senate and become law, with the right, new governor, things can happen quickly, in a big way, for all aspects of development related to the casino and its transportation/infrastructure needs…

  • Grin Ripper

    Great job by our house Delegation! New Haven, too.

  • Donald Day

    Hey Lennie, how did lower Fairfield county vote on this bill? There was nothing in the voting log that demonstrates what city/town they represented.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      I’ll take a closer look. It was a bi-partisan vote that required Republican support. On the Democratic side down county I see that State Rep. William Tong, a candidate for attorney general, voted in favor.

  • Ethan Book

    Casino gambling is a manner where the poor get poorer. The goal of the casinos in making money is that their customers lose money. Between 35 and 50% of casino patrons are problem gamblers. Essentially everyone realizes that the odds in a casino are stacked against the customer and in favor of the house. So the way the industry plays the customer is that “You can be a winner. You can be better than the average.” They play on human frailties! It seems that those who promote the Bridgeport casino plan are those who have had roles in expanding city and state budgets and taxes so much that businesses are leaving; hence the clamor for jobs. So now, they run to a distraction which would cloud their errors in bringing us where we are. A casino for Bridgeport is not the best option for Bridgeport or southwestern CT. Rather, it is a secondary option which likely will preclude the best options!

  • Stringfellow

    Agreed Ethan, the casino seems to be the only thing planned for the area, what is plan “B”? You don’t hear about any secondary plan should the casino fail. It’s a bad idea to go all in on this venture, it seems an all or nothing.

    The water is the city’s best asset but it only serves a few overall and the water can only be used in warmer weather. There must be something that could be used by everyone, that is not effected by the weather and would benefit the city.

    I am just not sure what that could be.

  • charlie

    All of you who are opposed to a casino in the park city, that is your right; however I believe a referendum should be held to get the input of those who would be affected.

  • Stringfellow

    For the record I am not against a casino in Bridgeport far from it,I am just pragmatic about the project. There are too many things that have to go right for this to be a done deal and actually get built. Too many opinions on one thing or another that will factor in the decision. Some may not want a casino in Bridgeport just because it’s in Bridgeport. Maybe I am wrong but there are a lot of people against the casino for one reason or another.

    My opinion is there should be some other plan on the back burner in case the casino is dead and buried for good. Take a survey from the people and ask them what they would like to see in that area?

  • Frank Gyure

    My prediction..The CT State Senate will kill this.

  • Stringfellow

    Well Mr.Gyure if that happens what’s the next big plan for the land?

    It took 22 years to clear the land and get Bass Pro built. A large chunk of that time the area stayed empty. BDL either knows something or they are taking a big risk with the clean up of the CarTech site for nothing.

  • Marshall Marcus

    The dream is dead this legislative session. The bill will not reach the Senate floor…per CT Post 5/8 at noon

Leave a Comment

You must log in to post a comment.