A rendering of the proposed casino in East Windsor. MMCT
A rendering of the proposed casino in East Windsor MMCT

It was pretty much a sure thing: Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday signed a bill that authorizes the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations to jointly develop a casino in East Windsor to compete with an MGM Resorts facility under construction in Springfield.

“Over the years, our state has maintained a longstanding partnership and compact with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations, who employ thousands of Connecticut residents at their casinos,” Malloy said. “Make no mistake about it – the legislation I signed today is about jobs for the residents of Connecticut, and securing those jobs in our state.”

The legislation authorizes the tribal owners of Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun, two of the world’s largest gaming resorts, to open a satellite casino off I-91 in East Windsor, a community of 12,000 between Hartford and Springfield that already has approved the project.

MGM has promised to challenge the legislation in court.

The General Assembly passed the bill by a 2-1 margin in each chamber. The new casino is intended to blunt the loss of market share to Massachusetts once the MGM casino opens in late 2018.

Connecticut granted the tribes exclusive rights to casino gambling more than 20 years ago in return for 25 percent of gross slots revenue. The tribes’ partnership, MMCT, will pay 25 percent of gross gaming revenue on slots and table games in East Windsor.

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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