The drama over the expansion and control of legal gambling in Connecticut enters its fifth season, a convoluted story in search of an ending.
The Senate’s approval of a little-noticed mixed-martial arts bill Tuesday evening was the signal: A deal has been struck for the House of Representatives to vote in the waning hours of the 2017 to authorize the owners of Connecticut’s tribal gaming resorts to develop a casino in East Windsor.
MGM Resorts is using a new letter from U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in its campaign to stop Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes from opening a casino in East Windsor to compete with an MGM gambling resort under construction in Springfield.
Connecticut legislators weighing casino expansion face the same stomach-churning questions as any gambler confronting a big play: What is their tolerance for risk? What is the payout if they win? What are the consequences of a loss? What of doing nothing? And, perhaps, most importantly, do they even know the odds?
Lobbyists for MGM Resorts International made a well-timed play Tuesday in their fight to stop a new tribal casino in Connecticut, delivering a warning from former Interior Secretary Kenneth Salazar that the proposal would jeopardize the state’s revenue-sharing agreement with the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans. The tribes dismissed Salazar as a paid consultant.