Connecticut Moves to Add a Third Casino in the State
The Connecticut Senate is reviewing a bill that was introduced a few months ago which would allow the state’s two federally recognized tribes to open a new joint casino.
According to CasinoNews Daily, the intial 16-page bill was shortened to just three pages, and is expected to be voted on as soon as the middle of next week. If the bill makes it through the Senate, it will become a state law if signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy.
Connecticut currently hosts two casinos on on tribal land — the Foxwoods Resorts Casino is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Sun is operated by the Mohegan Tribe.
The tribes and the state are both concerned about potential loss of revenue and jobs from the $800-million MGM Resorts International casino project, which is planning to open its doors in neighboring Springfield, Massachusetts by the end of 2017. The proposed bill would be the first step to allow the tribes to work with cities in Connecticut to help reduce the impact of this expected competition.
Even if the bill is passed, there would still be some red-tape before a new casino in Connecticut could be built. First of all, the Connecticut General Assembly and the US Bureau of Indian Affairs would need to amend the compacts between the state and the tribes. Secondly, the tribes would be required to submit “a request for proposals to municipalities," which would also require approval from the Department of Consumer Protection.
Many industry experts believe the bill has a great chance of passing, and would prove helpful to protect jobs held by the state's residents. Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff is one of the biggest proponents of passing a bill as soon as possible, understanding the threat of the neighboring MGM casino could have on the state's economy. The potential for job loss is a serious concern for the state to combat considering there are currently more than 9,300 people employed at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts Casino.