Lawmakers Introduce Bill For Competitive Gaming Destination

A majority of Bridgeport’s legislative delegation on Thursday joined more than a dozen state legislators, both Democrats and Republicans, introducing a bill to create a Connecticut Gaming Commission overseeing a competitive bidding process for a commercial casino resort. It was submitted to the Public Safety Committee co-chaired by State Senator Dennis Bradley setting the stage for another face-off between gaming leader MGM that has proposed a $675 million waterfront destination in Bridgeport and the tribal nations operating Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun seeking to maintain their gaming exclusivity with the state.

“It’s about fairness and transparency,” says Bradley. “It’s about making sure we place the working families of Bridgeport and CT in the place for growth and shared prosperity. Our core values as a nation has always been to allow for competition as long as there is equity in the process and as few restraints as possible on individual ingenuity.”

State Senator Marilyn Moore, a candidate for mayor, has not yet signed onto the bill but expects to do so once she reviews it.

She told OIB and in comments to the Connecticut Post she wants to see a development on the waterfront and supports an open process.

“I want what’s best for Bridgeport. I want who can offer the most expedient and best development for Bridgeport, whether that’s the tribes or someone else. I’m not against gaming or the expansion of gaming … This is bigger than gambling. They’re talking about development of the waterfront. I’ve been in Bridgeport my entire life. I want to see this happen so that Bridgeport can prosper.”

Last year a similar bill passed the State House, but did not come up for a vote in the Senate. Meanwhile the tribal nations are lobbying legislators to remain committed to their proposal for a casino in East Windsor to counter MGM’s market share from its new destination in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The federal agency that oversees tribal gaming has not signed off on the East Windsor gaming expansion that would be built on non-tribal land. The Tribes are seeking a legislative fix that eschews federal approval of their gaming expansion.

Some back channel discussions center on a bill approving both the East Windsor casino while also allowing a competitive process for another destination with Bridgeport likely the host city.

The proposed competitive bid legislation:



Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That the general statutes be amended to create the Connecticut Gaming Commission and create a competitive bidding process for a resort-casino license.

Statement of Purpose:
To create a competitive bidding process for a resort-casino that would allow the state to choose a development with the most economic impact to the state.



    1. You got something there, Bridgeport with its own Gaming Commission and of course it’s pay to play just to get a spot on the commission. Then the serious pay to play once a decision is made that Bridgeport can have Gaming here.

  1. “Our core values as a nation has always been to allow for competition as long as there is equity in the process and as few restraints as possible on individual ingenuity.”
    I attended the Fairfield University program that is part of the MLKJr annual event program. Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped From The Beginning – The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. The book won the 2016 National Book Award for Non-Fiction. It contrasts “racist ideas” with “anti racist ideas” through American history. And it acknowledges that while Obama operated in a time of racial progress, he has been followed by Trump who embodies American ideas of “racist progress”. Kendi states, “And racist progress has consistently followed racial progress.”
    I would like Dennis Bradley to explain at length his understanding of American history. Where has he seen equity in economic development since the Civil War? Where is de-regulation frequently preached? And though I respect our track record of “can do”, spirit of individuality and what may be called individual ingenuity in almost all of its fashions, I would rather support individual integrity in our society to score solid gains.
    And when we come to gambling, surely a venue for distraction and entertainment (too frequently to the state of overuse and addiction) there is our own history to consider and learn from. Lots of money, perhaps. But is it so easy? Time will tell.

  2. No need to get all worked-up about a casino this year — or for at least the next four years… The Gold Coast-Controlled GA doesn’t want a casino on any of the labor-force, commuter corridors leading into Stamford or near its 14 karat core, so there won’t be a casino anywhere in SW CT… The state is dependent on the Tribal slot $, which is becoming less and less significant in size — but apparently not “importance” (now you know that means that there’s a lot of $ from that pot ear-marked for pet projects — like re-election — of supportive pols…). So, with the tribal influence playing into the Gold Coast (a relationship with “history”), there certainly won’t be a Bridgeport casino while Ned is at the helm in Hartford… The East Windsor casino probably won’t happen, either, because it isn’t of the right scale to compete with Springfield casino for regional draw… Good bet that the tribes will look toward enhancing the appeal of their existing venues with sports wagering and really-creative entertainment offerings, al la Las Vegas…
    So, Bridgeporters can just relax and look to more of the same for at least another four years… Gold Coast Governor; same old faces in City Hall. No change likely…


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