In a race to put a third Connecticut casino into operation at least one year before the MGM project in Springfield is scheduled to open, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes are asking for casino proposals from Hartford area businesses – and Connecticut Airport Authority executive director Kevin Dillon recommends the Bradley International Airport.
Before submitting a proposal to meet the tribe’s November 6th deadline, the Port Authority’s bid must include sign-offs from municipality regulators as well as the developers. Officials from the town of Windsor Locks, where the Bradley airport is located, have scheduled a special meeting October 27th to hear a formal presentation from Dillon. The town’s board would be able to seek the requisite public vote later if the airport location were to be selected.
In the meantime, MGM’s Springfield project is undergoing unpopular revision. Initially MGM attempted to stop Connecticut tribal response to their building a casino resort so close to their already established ventures – by threatening to sue the State of Connecticut. Later the planned 25-story hotel was scaled down to 6-stories but with the same number of rooms. Yesterday an environmental filing disclosed that MGM plans to scale their project down 122,000 square feet, or an estimated 14%. The resorts’ size reduction plans were not first discussed with Springfield officials and other project supporters.
If the Bradley Airport location is chosen by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, it would be become the country’s first ever airport-based casino. The tribes are expected to make their decision from the applications by December 16 – well before the state’s 2016 legislative session begins, and there the process of putting the vote from the people begins. Their ultimate goal is to keep jobs, income, revenue, and casino-goers in Connecticut.