Robert Proto, an executive board member of Unite Here International Union that represents hospitality workers in Connecticut is calling on the state legislature to approve an open, competitive process for a third casino in the state. Backers of a competitive-process bill say a third state casino located in southwestern Connecticut would attract mega visitors from the wealthy Fairfield County and New York markets.
The State Senate on Wednesday approved a third casino that would be located in East Windsor operated by a coalition of the state’s two tribal nations. It faces stiff opposition, however, in the State House. MGM Resorts which is building a nearly $1 billion casino in Springfield, Massachusetts is among the gaming entities supporting a competitive process for what would be the state’s first commercial casino. The East Windsor site is not on tribal land.
Statement from Proto:
“When it comes to making a decision about a third casino in our state, Connecticut needs to start thinking bigger. We support a competitive process to choose our first commercial casino operator because this state needs real jobs and real revenue. Thinking small has hurt our state and our workers, both union and non-union, and our taxpayers. Allowing a third casino in the state is a real opportunity, if our legislators are willing to think big.
That’s why we are asking members of the House of Representatives to pass the competitive process bill (HB 7239) that is awaiting action. A vigorous, competitive process–with bids from first-class operators competing to do business in Connecticut–has the potential to create thousands more jobs than the narrow, no-bid, anti-competitive Senate bill. The numbers don’t even compare.
Given the state’s massive budget deficit and shaky job market, it would be an affront to working men and women and every taxpayer for the state to close its eyes to reality and walk away from that opportunity. With less than two weeks remaining in the legislative session, it’s time for our legislators to get serious about delivering for the state and its workers.”
Comment by Uri Clinton, Senior Vice President and Legal Counsel, MGM Resorts International
“We’re grateful that UNITE HERE!–an internationally respected union–has decided to support the open, competitive casino process. They obviously realize that if you’re going to maximize job creation in the state of Connecticut around the state’s first commercial casino, HB7239 is the bill you should be supporting.”