Will The Tribes Propose A Bridgeport Gaming Destination?

Rendering of Tribal Winds in East Windsor.

The gaming machinations continue in Connecticut just not as high profile the past two legislative sessions when MGM Resorts made a huge splash with its proposal for a $675 million waterfront destination at the Steelpointe Harbor redevelopment area.

Such a proposal requires legislative approval against the backdrop of Connecticut’s gaming compact with the two tribal nations that operate Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods providing 25 percent of the slot take in exchange for exclusivity. Break the compact, the tribes declare, and the flow of slot money dries up. Connecticut’s take last year was $263 million.

MGM has asserted an open, competitive process for a commercial destination is a better deal for the state. The gaming giant’s public visibility this legislative session–while still maintaining an interest in Bridgeport–has been hushed.

The tribes maintain they have exclusive rights to everything gaming related in the state moving forward including sports betting, something the parimutuel industry in Connecticut led by Sportech challenges. Sportech is licensed by the state with more than a dozen off track betting facilities in Connecticut including one on Bridgeport’s East Side.

MGM’s signed land deal with the developers of Steelpointe Harbor operated by Robert Christoph Sr. and Jr. expires in September. Will MGM push for another deal or will the tribes position for the waterfront property? It’s the most prime waterfront land in the city.

In recent weeks the tribes have been meeting with city development officials and members of the eight-member legislative delegation expressing interest in a Bridgeport development. Is it on the same scale of MGM’s proposal or is it more closely aligned with its proposal to build a more than $300-million gaming resort in East Windsor to counter MGM’s Springfield, Massachusetts destination that opened last year?

The tribes have received both state legislative and federal approval for the East Windsor site, called Tribal Winds, something MGM has threatened to litigate because the facility was approved on non-tribal land. So there’s precedent for the tribes to cut a deal directly with a municipality paired with legislative approval to build on non-tribal land.

In a nearly saturated northeast market what’s the one last prime market area for gaming? Fairfield County, given its wealth. As the legislative session winds down look for the tribes to intensify discussions with local and state officials to determine if a Bridgeport destination makes sense for its gaming portfolio.



  1. I just attended a Teaching and Learning Committee that used to be Chaired by Ben Walker but is now Chaired by Joseph Sokolovic.

    Ben’s committee was the one committee where the vast majority of policies, initiatives and programs that directly impacted students, parents and staff came to fruition. Since he resigned, not a single policy, program and initiative has come out of this committee with Sokolovic as Chair.

    When Ben was still on the Board I referred an initiative I read about called Reverse Suspension where when a student received a suspension, parents were given the option to shadow their child in school for an entire day and in turn the child would have one day of their suspension shaved off.

    This school saw a significant reduction in suspensions, behavioral incidents, increased attendance rates and a slight improvement in academic performance.

    No child, especially a pre-teen or teen wants their parent to shadow them at school because it is so uncool.

    There are no costs associated with implementing this initiative. I wanted to test it in our smallest high school this Fall and a small elementary school with seasoned administrators to work out any issues BEFORE rolling it out District wide

    Although Chair Sokolovic, Lombard and Kennedy have NOT offered any initiative to reduce behavioral and suspension issues nor any alternative to my recommendation they are attempting to table my proposal.

    They tried to get Testani to offer alternatives. After the meeting I asked Testani who was at the meeting he attended, He admitted not a single parent was in his cohort and only one teacher. Everyone else was administrators and central office staff. I asked Testani what were these alternatives he had recommended as I had stepped out of the room. Testani told me he had not prepared any alternatives because no one had asked him to. The only suggestion would be Saturday suspensions which would cost us custodial OT, utilities, possibly bus transportation, teaching staff likely requiring security OT.

    I don’t know if Sokolovic, Lombard, and Kennedy understand that we need to CUT $10.5 million not ADD expenses.

    I love when those who have absolutely NO ideas try to stifle those that actually do have cost negligible solutions to real problems facing our students, parents and staff.

  2. The tribes are — and have been — hemorrhaging money from the Sun and Foxwoods and no longer have the wherewithal to develop anything that could be competitive with MGM. East Windsor is approved, but isn’t likely to happen in the shadow of the Springfield MGM. Right now, Ned and the tribes are (knowingly)playing each other (as well as Bridgeport Casino supporters, by way of stymying a Bridgeport casino (Ned and the tribes) and the pursuit of sports-betting monopoly rights (the tribes).

    Ned was placed in power by the Gold Coast Oligarchy to keep the status quo in Connecticut — especially with respect to Fairfield County/the Gold Coast… So Ned is trying to find a way to squeeze the real casino players (MGM) out of Bridgeport by running interference/propaganda using the tribes, the latter of which think that they can revive and coast on a sports betting (Connecticut) monopoly without having to expand beyond the reservation. They believe that they can do this as long as they can make sure that nothing happens in Bridgeport to intercept their casino traffic — especially if they can get the monopoly on sports betting… So, PoloPony Ned and the tribes are knowingly using each other in order for the tribes to retain their Connecticut gaming MonoPoly and gain the sports-betting monopoly, which will allow them to coast, fat and happy, once again, and which will also allow Ned can keep his promise of NO BFRIDGEPORT CASINO/STATUS QUO to the Connecticut Oligarchy… “Everybody” (the Gold Coast) wins this way — except, of course, for the dying city of Bridgeport…

    As has been previously stated: there will never be a Bridgeport casino — or a Bridgeport commercial anything — as long as Gold Coast Oligarchs and their suburban (and urban) lackeys are running the state (into the ground…).

    1. To say that Fairfield county is racist and economic plutocrats is obvious.whichis not so obvious is that the two tribes of creation rather than reality will be down 50% of their customers when Boston opens. So the state is in line to drop money payouts from the slots. Even that business failure Lamont will need to ask others how to replace it

  3. For those that might still think that theories of Gold Coast/suburban conspiracies to exploit/subvert Bridgeport (and other CT urban centers, e.g., New Haven, Waterbury) are baseless and illogical and/or delusional, check out this excellent, specifics/information-rich article from today’s Connecticut Mirror (below):


  4. Why would the Indians build a casino in Bpt??. They would be putting nails in their own coffin upstate at that point.Jeff is 100% correct. All this is a delay tactic to run MGM out.It makes zero sense for the Indians to invest anything in Lower Fairfield county, this is where more than half their base comes from for their exsisting operations now.
    MGM is eventually going to move on to Westchester county and know most of Fairfield county will come in droves once it’s built.Meanwhile Steelpoint will be mainly housing, mixed in with a grocery, store, banks,etc, sort of like CO-Op city.No casino will ever get built there.

  5. Once approved, The only thing the tribes have to do is establish a P.O. Box in Bridgeport for the next twenty years. Ganim and Lamont are good shills for the tribes, the Bridgeport delegation is easily hoodwinked.

  6. I said a while ago I would love to see a casino come to Bridgeport because the people need those jobs very badly, but there is NO way that was going to happen. MGM used the promise of a Bridgeport casino to leverage against a upstate casino.

    Having said that, my wife and I went to the MGM and neither of us were overly impressed. It was no comparison to either Native American casino as far a restaurants, shops, activites or venues. Bridgeport could have had a casino by the Golden Hill Paugussett decades ago if not for Gold Coast Oligarchs intervention.

    1. We have technical and secondary schools here, Donald. Students learn skilled trades in those institutions. Those trades pay better than subsistence wages and benefits. Too many have been conned into thinking a casino is going to be the great miracle. Point of fact a hotel/casino would create a few dozen jobs. Factories and mills create hundreds if not thousands. It is in the best interests of the people of the city of Bridgeport to educate its workforce to do more than flip burgers or clean toilets.

  7. Bridgeport was one of the industrial powerhouses of New England. If we had visionary leadership in the mayor’s office the city would be attracting industrial development and the good paying jobs it generates. instead we’re stuck with a Napoleonic egomaniac that promised the sun the moon and a few tin stars and failed to deliver because he was too busy looking at the news media coverage of his hare brained attempt at running for governor.

    Now everyone is having palpitations over the remote possibility the eastern tribes and/or MGM is going to build a casino on the old Carpenter Technologies site. At least one member of the DTC (that is also a city employee thanks to shameless ass kissing) thinks a casino would be “great for the city” if it was built on that piece of real estate, not for the jobs it would create but for the camouflage it would provide, blocking views of the east side and the Stratford Avenue corridor from downtown.

  8. Derek, you are absolutely correct when you say, “Bridgeport was one of the industrial powerhouses of New England.” WAS is the key word in your sentence. The fact is America is no longer a manufacturing giant on the world stage. Did you know that America no longer produce televisions, refrigerators, stoves or much of anything that you or I have purchased in the last 20 years.
    What have you purchased that is manufactured in America? I’ll wait.

    Those little $15 per hour jobs mean so much to a family that is struggling to make ends meet and shouldn’t be discounted because you or I wouldn’t work for that kind of money. A family of three making $15 an hour would generate over $93,000 a year. Are casinos the answer to the uplift of the residents of Bridgeport or the State? HELL NO, but they are better than nothing which to many of my people in Bridgeport have, Nothing! Do I think a casino is coming to Bridgeport, HELL NO!
    But I would sure as hell would like to see one come here.

  9. This is why I believe a casino in Bridgeport will happen.
    No matter what is said the granting of the casino in East Windsor it is a commercial casino.
    MGM can and will sue on the basis of discrimination and violation of the commerce clause.
    Springfield is a loser, that’s why they wanted Boston. The tribes wanted Boston, but Mass didn’t want them. 50% of their revenue comes from Mass
    Their willingness to go wherever shows they have no loyalty to the state 😠. MGM has deep pockets and can sustain a law suit against against the state.
    These two tribes will be losing a lot of money starting in June

  10. Let’s all remember that the Boston Casino is opening late June. This will further cut business coming from the north for the CT Indians casino. MGM bought the Yonkers Raceway site and you can bet that MGM will be putting a mega casino on that site. We have already reached the saturation point for gambling business in the Northeast (let’s not forget Atlantic City). NJ is already far ahead about online gambling. The fact is that the ship has sailed for a casino in BPT. As things stand now (and it will get worse in the future) the economic model for a BPT business is that it is already destined for failure NOW. It’s time to forget a casino on Steelpont. The Christoph’s need to sever business with MGM and the Christoph’s,BPT political leaders and community need to see a new direction with dealing with Steelpoint. A CASINI IN BRIDGEPORT IS DEAD. Time to move on.

    1. The casino at Yonkers is slots only and will be. Thank God these tribes will start losing their shirts. MGM has the rights to the waterfront. Fairfield county can go to hell with those phoney tribes. My only glee is that when this state goes over the economic cliff those damn Indians are going too


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