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Wheels Turn In Casino Positioning

February 15th, 2018 · 25 Comments · Analysis and Comment, Development and Zoning, News and Events, State Politics

A public hearing regarding a request for proposals for a commercial gaming facility is scheduled for March 8 in Hartford as the plot thickens for an open casino process driven by MGM Resorts that proposes a $675 million waterfront casino in the city and pushback from the state’s two tribal nations that enjoy a gaming monopoly in the state in exchange for sharing 25 percent of the slot take.

Bridgeport State House members Chris Rosario and Jack Hennessy have introduced bills, see Public Safety Committee bill here, in support of a competitive process.

AN ACT REQUIRING AN APPLICATION FEE AND REGISTRATION FEE FOR BIDDERS ON A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR A CASINO GAMING FACILITY.
To require any bidder on a request for proposals for a casino gaming facility to pay an application fee of five million dollars and registration fee of two hundred fifty thousand dollars in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2019.

The wheels are turning far beyond a roulette wheel with heavy lobbying, lawyering, legislation and loot stretching from Hartford to Washington featuring the powerful gaming interests. Connecticut’s first commercial casino, without a competitive process, was approved by the state legislature last year for an East Windsor location on behalf of the Mashantucket-Mohegan tribal nations to counter MGM’s nearly $1 billion gaming complex underway in Springfield, Massachusetts. The East Windsor location is not on tribal land and it’s unclear when construction will start given the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs sign-off reticence.

MGM, whose CEO Jim Murren has deep roots in Bridgeport, argues open up the process to see what comes back. The tribal nations assert opening up the process breaks the gaming compact with the state, although they have announced if the legislature supports a competitive process for Bridgeport they will participate. MGM  has locked up the best piece of property in the city in partnership with Bridgeport Landing Development that controls the Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment area. MGM officials argue Bridgeport’s proximity to the Fairfield County and New York markets make it the most viable location for a major gaming complex.

Where could the tribal nations do something in land-poor Bridgeport with a representative footprint?

Winners Shoreline Star, the parimutuel facility, occupies nearly 20 acres along the Pequonnock River on Kossuth Street, but not nearly the size of MGM’s proposed site.

Mohegan Sun, for one, has partnered with operators of the city-owned Webster Bank Arena on concert and marketing promotions with the adjacent city-owned former Bluefish stadium slated for a warm-weather concert amphitheater to open spring 2019.

Is it farfetched, when the dust settles, for MGM and the tribal nations to make a gaming marriage in Bridgeport? Not judging by the positioning and lawyering, but it’s a crazy business.

Mayor Joe Ganim, see video above, co-hosted STAR 99′s Anna & Raven Show the other day and chatted about the casino issues.

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25 Comments so far ↓

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    It would be in the best interests of Bridgeport Landing Development to create a list of alternative uses for the waterfront. MGM is affecting smoke, mirrors and magic potions in an effort to loosen the Native Merican tribes’ lock on casino gambling in the state of Connecticut.

    This is just a fat lot of bullshit. Lobbyists representing both sides of the issue will be cashing many many checks.

  • Jimfox

    List of casinos in the state of New York

    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

  • Jimfox

    About Resorts World Catskills
    Beautifully situated in the pristine Catskill Mountains of Sullivan County, a mere 90 miles from New York City, Resorts World Catskills is being built. It is part of a $1.2 billion, four-season destination resort which will include a casino hotel and will also include an entertainment village, golf course and more.

    Resorts World Catskills will feature over 100,000 square feet of gaming action with more than 130 table games, a poker room, and 2,150 of the most cutting-edge slot machines.* Our 18-story all-suite hotel is designed to meet 5-star and 5-diamond standards and will also feature garden villas, two-story and penthouse suites. The resort property will also include upscale spa and fitness amenities, 10 varied bar and restaurant experiences, two indoor pools, meeting rooms, and event space. In late 2018, the entertainment village is expected to open and provide additional entertainment, food and accommodations. In spring 2019, a Rees Jones-redesigned 18-hole golf course is anticipated to debut as well.

    *Pending NYSGC Approval.

    https://www.hospitalityonline.com/montreign-resort-casino

  • The Bridgeport Kid

    Sullivan County, New York, located northwest of Manhattan in the Pennsylvania state line, is not much further than Ledyard or Uncasville. Resorts Workd Catskills is boasting of a $1.2 billion dollar investment and 100,000 square feet of gambling thrills. The days of dirty dancing and shuffleboard at Grossinger’s are over.

    That dwarfs anything MGM has planned for Springfield, Massachusetts, let alone the imaginary casino proposed for Bridgeport’s waterfront.

    • LennieGrimaldi

      Derek, Springfield isn’t planned it’s under construction almost completed. I don’t know if the CT legislature will approve an open process with MGM selected but if that happens they will build it. It’s what they do. Now, if you believe gaming is a misplaced economic development tool for the city that’s fine, but what’s your alternative?

      • Grin Ripper

        An open mic-medicareoke-bar serving corned beef hash brownies.

      • The Bridgeport Kid

        I don’t want to see Bridgeport succum to the Alantic City Effect. You know, MGM is promising pie in the sky, a gajillion dollars injected into Bridgeport, jobs, blah-blah-blah. Not much of the gajillion dollars will make it into the local economy given Bridgeport’s political history. The local people hired by the hotel and casino will be paid well enough to move their families out of Bridgeport to Trumbull, Stratford or another nearby town with low crime and good schools. Meanwhile the city continues to rot, eroded by poverty, crime, neglect and political corruption.

        Connect the dots…

        • DC Faber

          I do not think this is the same situation as AC. First Bridgeport should not become home to a flood of casinos. Two AC is in the middle of no where. Bridgeport is very accessible by car, boat and train. MGM would be more than just a casino. Fine dining, entertainment, shopping – it would be a destination and it would generate income for the city. And if you believe the hype, they would invest millions in redevelopment for the city.
          The devil will be in the details, but if everything is as legit as promised this could be something good for the city and be a part of a Bridgeport recovery.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            Reread my post.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            A casino with entertainment, fine dining and a hotel will not generate income for the city of Bridgeport. With all those amenities casino patrons would have no reason to venture out of the casino. Why was time and money eating at Tiago’s or another downtown restaurant when four star chow is available in the hotel/casino?

            Given Bridgeport’s sordid history of political corruption it is a safe bet the economic benefits will be experienced by a few at the expense of the many. Even the people hired to work as cooks, chambermaids, valets, dealers, security guards and the like I’ll be earning good money, good enough to move out of Bridgeport and into the middle class. The rest of the city will continue to rot from exposure to drugs, crime, despair, indifference and chronic political corruption.

          • The Bridgeport Kid

            *will be earning good money.

  • Donald Day

    I think that they fact the trial nation announced if the legislature supports a competitive process for Bridgeport they will participate is a game changer for Bridgeport. But by the same token MGM would be ecstatic about losing this project to the
    Tribal Nation’s because all they’ve ever wanted was No casino in Windsor which is a part of their targeted customer base for its Springfield casino.

  • Jimfox

    In the end this is Probably what Connecticut will wind-up with.

    Toll-cinos! That’s right folks Tollcinos!!!

    Connecticut can kill two birds with one stone, so you pull up to a Tollcino just like you would a regular Toll booth, but instead it’s a one arm bandit /Toll booth. You put your money in the slot, and pull the handle, if you win, the Tollcino gives you a ticket and the amount that you won can be cashed at your local convenience store and maybe you’ll purchase a Power Ball Ticket or an Instant Scratch-off, Milk, Gum or cup of Joe.
    But if you lose, you just paid the toll.
    So call your legislator and tell them to support the new Tollcino Bill!

  • charlie

    Just spoke with people in public safety committee. There is no meeting scheduled for March 8. As of now. Yes MGM wants Bridgeport very much.

  • John Marshall Lee

    I received a mega-size glossy publication from MGM this week with lots of “facts”. ” $8 Million in direct payments” to Bridgeport. Forgive me for even raising the question but I have property tax payments on my residence and personal property taxes due on my business. Do these have a new name, “direct payments”? Or would a casino brought on board by Bridgeport Landing Development/Steelpoint have a different way of providing necessary revenues to Bridgeport. Will someone shine some more light on this issue? Time will tell.

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