Citing a press release from Governor Malloy’s office, Fox 61 reports that both chambers of the state legislature passed Public Act 17-89 – An Act Concerning the Regulation of Gaming and the Authorization of a Casino Gaming Facility in the State – with bipartisan support. The legislation specifies that MMCT Venture, LLC, a joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, will be the owners and operators of the casino.
Malloy said, “Over the years, our state has maintained a longstanding partnership and compact with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations, who employ thousands of Connecticut residents at their casinos,” The Governor added, “Make no mistake about it – the legislation I signed today is about jobs for the residents of Connecticut, and securing those jobs in our state,” according to the news agency.
Certain conditions were stipulated in the act including; the tribes will make an initial payment of $1 million to the State of Connecticut; the state will receive gross gaming revenue (GGR) in the amount of 25 percent from video facsimile games, with another 25 percent of GGR coming from all of the casino’s other authorized games, with 10 percent of that amount directed toward the state’s tourism efforts and the 15 percent that’s remaining going to the state’s general fund, according to the Governor’s press release.
MMCT will pay $300,000 a year to address problem gambling. Costs associated with regulatory oversight by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) will also be paid by the tribes. And lastly, annual grants of $750,000 will be paid by the state to the towns of Windsor Locks, South Windsor, Ellington, and Enfield.
Also commenting on the bill, Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman said, “This bill protects Connecticut jobs and adds new ones – it’s good for our economy and our workforce.” She added, “It also speaks to our long relationship with Connecticut’s tribal nations and the importance of that partnership and the compact,” according to the Connecticut news agency.
Through the legislation, DCP reportedly has licensing, regulation, and oversight over the casino in East Windsor as well as any other casino the legislature may authorize in the future.
The move by Governor Malloy comes on the heels of MGM Resorts International losing a federal court action that it hoped would stop MMCT from following through on its plan to open a satellite casino in East Windsor.
Prior to the federal court ruling, in May Connecticut lawmakers passed Special Act 15-7, which gave MMCT permission to open its gaming facility in in the small northern Connecticut community.