In an attempt to expand gambling in Connecticut, a key committee voted in favor to approve up to three new casinos. The Public Safety and Security Committee voted in favor with a final vote of 15-8 for the bill, which will soon head to the state Senate where it will be further referred to two other committees before a final decision is made.
The debate included various arguments stating that additional betting establishments would increase the number of problem gamblers. Two Indian casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, are planning a joint venture just outside of Hartford as well as facilities in Bridgeport and Danbury. The Democratic-dominated committee finally approved the proposal for the building of new casinos.
One of the main benefits of building more casinos is the increase in job availability and Senator Edwin Gomes is hopeful that after the first casino is built, Bridgeport will be next in line. The casino industry has been successful in Connecticut and has created jobs.
A recent poll revealed that the majority of residents are against the expansion of gambling in the state and while there may be new jobs created, there will also be increased costs in regards to infrastructure and the social costs of attracting more people.
Those who voted against the bill wish that the bill was all about helping the two casinos that are already there. Senator Larson, a defender of the proposal stresses that the bill will also include more support for problem gamblers as well as a requirement that the selected locations will hold public hearings so the residents are well informed.