On Monday afternoon, the Connecticut Airport Authority’s board met and while one of the several items on the agenda discussed was a proposal for a casino near Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, no vote was taken.
The board discussed a negotiating strategy for potentially developing a casino during the executive session but the meeting was adjourned without any action haven been taken, as reported by NBC Connecticut.
Proposals have been received by officials from the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos from several towns considering hosting a potential $300 million facility that would feature slot machines, table games, bars, and restaurants. The Connecticut Airport Authority has proposed building the casino either as part of a new transportation center or on the site of the old Murphy Terminal. To get the casino up-and-running sooner, the idea of an “interim” casino at Bradley’s Sheraton Hotel has also been floated by the authority.
In February, East Windsor was eliminated for consideration for a third casino in Connecticut, with Kevin Brown, the Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, stating that certain issues made it “extremely challenging” to pursue a facility there. Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said that while the site was a good fit for a variety of economic development projects, it was not, however, the right fit for the tribes’ planned project, according to the Hartford Courant. Of the four sites remaining, including the Connecticut Airport Authority, two are in Windsor Locks.
Last month, a legislative panel failed to clear a statewide study commissioned by MGM Resorts International and conducted by Oxford Economics of a proposed third casino. A motion to refer Rep. Chris Perone’s bill from the Commerce Committee to the Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee failed by a vote of 11-7. Lawmakers were urged by the leaders of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to defeat the bill anticipating that another study could delay their plans for a casino in northern Connecticut, and the state could potentially lose thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues as gamblers take their business across state lines.
The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes joined forces last year to form MMCT Venture in Connecticut in order to compete with MGM Resorts International’s $950 million mega resort in neighboring Springfield, Massachusetts currently under construction and slated to open in the fall of 2018.