In Connecticut, a group of lawmakers is reportedly set to introduce proposed legislation later this week that would revoke the gaming license earlier granted to the planned Mohegan Sun Foxwoods East Windsor and instead initiate a competitive bidding process for the right to build one larger casino costing a minimum of $500 million.
According to a report from the Connecticut Post newspaper, the proposed measure is being sponsored by lawmakers representing the areas around the cities of New Haven and Bridgeport and would require all bids to be placed by the first day of next year. The eventual winner would be selected by the eastern state’s Department of Economic and Community Development in advance of April 2, 2019.
The newspaper reported that the successful bidder would be obliged to have already agreed a deal with a host community approved via a local referendum with any final endorsement lying with the Connecticut General Assembly.
To subsequently receive its gaming license, the successful bidder would reportedly moreover be required to agree to hand over 25% of the new venue’s gaming revenues for use by the state’s general fund while Connecticut’s schools would benefit from receiving 10% of the property’s slot takings.
However, the newspaper reported that the idea of the proposed legislation has drawn criticism from the federally-recognized Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which received legislative approval via their MMCT Venture joint enterprise in July to open the Mohegan Sun Foxwoods East Windsor venue. The pair is already responsible for the state’s Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino and purportedly won a license for the Hartford County venue despite stiff opposition and $3.8 million in lobbying and advertising cash from MGM Resorts International.
For its part, Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International has reportedly long sought a competitive bidding process for the right to run Connecticut’s third casino and proposed a plan in September that would see it spend upwards of $675 million in order to build the proposed MGM Bridgeport facility in the state’s largest city.
“A competitive process will bring Connecticut the best deal in terms of jobs, economic development, community benefits and support for our local businesses,” reportedly read a statement from Chris Rosario, a Democratic member of the 151-seat Connecticut House of Representatives for Bridgeport. “This process will let every developer with an interest whether it is MGM [Resorts International] or the tribes or anyone else give it their best shot.”