House approves a third casino in East Windsor

09 June, 2017, 09:22 | Author: Rita Mcdonald
  • Connecticut State Capitol  Wikimedia Commons

Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has been pushing for the so-called transportation lockbox.

These proposals come days before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its regular legislative session at midnight on Wednesday. It had been devised at the eleventh-hour to help gain support for the tribal casino bill.

The Connecticut state senate approved the third casino last month.

"I'm glad it's nearly over", said Democratic House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, who has been working to broker an agreement that could satisfy members of the House.

The two Indian tribes would run the East Windsor casino.

"I think our focus should be on saving those jobs in Eastern Connecticut and allowing two tribes that have been good partners as along as the town that it's going to be agree with it", Rep. Themis Klarides said during an interview Monday. The Connecticut tribes hope this casino will take away some of MGM's business.

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Proponents of the bill say it will add more jobs to the state while other say it tarnishes the reputation of CT.

But some CT lawmakers voiced concern about granting the tribes exclusive rights to build a new casino on non-tribal land. He predicted the facility could be bogged down by legal challenges for years. MGM Resorts has pointed out that a property of this kind would require a license fee of at least $100 million, which would go directly to CT.

According to Aresimowicz, this new bill would allow Sportech Venues to have eight more off-track betting licenses, for a total of 24 possible locations throughout the state.

Slowing the deterioration of the revenue-sharing - and trying to offset the loss of thousands of jobs at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, once MGM opens, with new ones in East Windsor - is the heart of the tribes' argument for a new casino. Aresimowicz said the entities could share in the recruitment of entertainment acts to the state. Such a move would be in anticipation of the federal government possibly allowing sports betting.

Despite the House has already given its approval to the gambling expansion in the state, some CT lawmakers still expressed their concern with the fact that the tribes will be given the exclusive right to develop a new casino on what is described as non-tribal land.

The issue this year was a bill that neutralized a health-and-safety liability issue that had discouraged mixed-martial arts promoters from staging matches in CT.

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