Connecticut Senate Clears New Casino Bill

connecticut parliament

Casinos in Connecticut have fallen prey to nine years of gaming revenue drops, so the state is now looking at new approach to stop the bleeding.

A third casino for the state of Connecticut was recently given the green light by the state’s Senate on Wednesday, sending it to the House for consideration. The legislation would allow the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes the chance to open a jointly-run casino in East Windsor.

The bill cleared by a 24-12 vote.

The tribes are now planning a $300 million Las Vegas-style facility at an old movie theatre, roughly 15 miles south of the $1 billion MGM casino arriving at Springfield, Massachusetts.

If the casino is constructed, it would be the first of its kind in the state and not on tribal land.

Opponents of the legislation quarrel that the bill could violate rules to permit for competition, as the tribes would be given the sole authority to build a completely new gambling facility. MGM wants to have the chance to pitch a Connecticut casino.

Under the present deal, the tribes would pay the state approximately 25 percent of gaming revenue from the East Windsor casino. MGM claims that it’s a bad arrangement for Connecticut and its residents, according to a local report.

MGM’s Springfield project is reportedly eyeing a fall 2018 opening. The casino plans to feature 20 poker tables. The tribes haven’t stated how big of a poker room there would be at the East Windsor casino. There are presently about 140 poker tables in Connecticut.

The talks have come at a time when gaming revenue is slowly declining at Connecticut’s two existing casinos – Foxwood and Mohegan Sun. They had their clubbed gaming revenue fall by 7.5 percent between 2013 and 2015 to $1.6 billion.