Connecticut’s two tribal casinos staged a ceremony Thursday marking the start of a formal search for a community willing to accept a new gambling hall to maintain market share against competition coming to Massachusetts.
The state attorney general’s office declined Tuesday to help the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes ask the U.S. Department of the Interior for a statement supporting their bid for casino expansion in Connecticut.
Rather than authorize immediate construction of Connecticut’s first casino outside tribal lands, the state Senate is set to vote on a bill creating a complex approval process requiring passage of a second law next year.
A casino in the I-91 corridor north of Hartford could recapture nearly 53 percent of the Connecticut gambling dollars that otherwise would be lost to the MGM Springfield casino, according to a study released Thursday.
Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal leaders say the new interest by greater Hartford municipalities in hosting a casino should translate into momentum for their joint proposal at the General Assembly.
Attorney General George Jepsen warned top legislators Wednesday that legislation giving the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans exclusive rights to a new casino was itself a gamble, potentially endangering the current profit-sharing deal with the tribes and exposing the state to claims of illegal favoritism.
New casinos in New York and Massachusetts will siphon $703 million in annual revenue from Connecticut’s two tribal casinos by 2019, costing 9,300 residents their jobs and state government $100 million, according to an industry study.
While Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was noncommittal Tuesday about a proposed expansion of gaming in Connecticut, it drew support from business, labor and municipal leaders.
Failing to slam the door on casino gambling in 1991, Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. cut the deal in 1993 that both gave the industry a foundation and firmly capped its reach in Connecticut — until now. Today, the legislature’s Public Safety and Security Committee holds a public hearing on what appears to be the strongest attempt in two decades to expand casino gambling off tribal lands.
A Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday shows that Connecticut has grown comfortable with the existing casino industry, but that proponents of expansion face a significant sales job in the months ahead.
Questions about morality and the societal impact of expanded gambling are fading, if not gone. Competition in surrounding states, notably a planned MGM casino-resort in Springfield, has distilled the issue of a new casino in Connecticut to one overriding concern: Keeping jobs.
The Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans, historic rivals and casino competitors, are to be introduced Tuesday as potential partners in at least one new casino in Connecticut, sources said Monday night.
Connecticut’s two tribal casinos are trying to gauge support at the General Assembly for an expansion of gambling to stem what a new study shows is the rapid loss of customers to out-of-state competition. Expansion possibilities include a new casino north of Hartford or slots at OTB parlors.
The owners of the Mohegan Sun casino are interested in developing one or more new gaming facilities in Connecticut to keep customers being targeted by new casinos under development in Massachusetts. And while the Mohegan tribe hasn’t fully developed any proposal, or settled on any specific locations, it does believe its most aggressive new competitor lies in Springfield, Mass., where a new $800 million casino is being developed.
WASHINGTON – Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, came into office on the slimmest of victories, a surplus of just 83 votes that earned him the jocular nickname “Landslide Joe” among his colleagues. This time, as he seeks re-election for a fifth term in Congress, Courtney hopes the nickname is no joke.