Last week reportedly saw the Connecticut House of Representatives narrowly pass legislation that could see MGM Resorts International spend upwards of $675 million in order to bring a casino and entertainment complex to the state’s largest city, Bridgeport.
According to a Friday report from The Day newspaper, the 151-member body endorsed the measure by a 77 to 73 vote despite protests from some lawmakers over concerns that doing so could lead to the state’s casino-operating Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to stop making revenue-sharing payments that last year totaled in excess of $270 million.
The legislation, which is now set to be considered by the 36-member Connecticut State Senate, would reportedly allow operators including Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International to submit new casino proposals so long as they were willing to invest at least $500 million and pay a one-off licensing charge of $50 million. The measure would purportedly also require applicants to hand over a refundable $5 million application fee and guarantee that their new casino complex would create at least 2,000 jobs.
The Day reported that MGM Resorts International, which is set to open its $960 million MGM Springfield facility in the neighboring state of Massachusetts from late-August, unveiled a plan in September that would see it partner with Miami Beach-based real estate developer RCI Group to construct an over 210,860 sq ft venue provisionally christened as MGM Bridgeport. As currently envisioned, the property planned for the city’s historic seafront Steelpointe Harbor area would purportedly come complete with a 100,000 sq ft casino offering approximately 2,000 slots alongside some 160 gaming tables.
Uri Clinton, Senior Vice-President for MGM Resorts International, reportedly welcomed the Connecticut House of Representatives’ passage of the legislation before declaring that his firm is looking forward to ‘continuing this discussion and supporting the legislation as it continues to move through the legislative process’.
“As a result of the bi-partisan support of members of [the Connecticut] House of Representatives, the state is one step closer to adopting a best-in-class process for possible selection of a commercial casino operator,” reportedly read a statement from Clinton. “We look forward to the [Connecticut State] Senate and Governor concurring with the [Connecticut House of Representatives] so that the competitive process can begin, companies including the tribes can put forth their proposals and the state can determine the deal that’s best for Connecticut.”