In Connecticut and a bipartisan group of legislators has reportedly proposed a piece of legislation that would allow the state’s two federally-recognized tribes to build and operate a casino for the city of Bridgeport.
According to a Wednesday report from the Hartford Courant newspaper, the measure is set to be considered at a special legislative session later in the year and as written would also authorize the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to run on-site and mobile-friendly sportsbetting services with any revenues subject to respective tax rates of 8% and 10%.
In exchange for being given permission to bring a casino to the eastern state’s largest city, the suggested legislation would moreover reportedly mandate that the two tribes spend at least $100 million on construction and position their new venue to serve as an anchor for a private development scheme that is expected to be worth at least three times this figure.
The Mohegan Tribe is already responsible for eastern Connecticut’s giant Mohegan Sun venue while the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation runs the nearby Foxwoods Resort Casino. The pair has furthermore teamed up in hopes of opening the $300 million Tribal Winds Casino facility in the small community of East Windsor although this proposal has faced a large amount of opposition reportedly led by American casino giant MGM Resorts International, which last year unsuccessfully launched its own plan to bring a $675 million harbor-side casino resort to Bridgeport.
The Hartford Courant reported that the proposed measure would additionally require any new facility from the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to follow the tribes’ existing compact arrangement and pay 25% of its slot revenues to the state, which is an alliance that was worth some $253 million in the twelve months to the end of June. The legislation would also purportedly call for a 10% contribution from the envisioned Bridgeport venue for use by Connecticut’s tourism marketing fund but invalidate the whole arrangement should a court overturn any part of the legislation.
Away from Bridgeport and the newspaper reported that the successful passage of this measure would moreover authorize the Connecticut Lottery to offer online and app-based lottery ticket sales as well as Internet keno and see the nearby communities of New Haven, Trumbull, Stratford, Norwalk, Waterbury, Fairfield and Hartford receive an unspecified amount of ‘mitigation dollars.’
One of the main supporters of the new legislation, Connecticut State Senator Cathy Osten, reportedly told the Hartford Courant that the measure is set to ‘deepen our partnership with two of our biggest employers and our large single taxpayers’. She purportedly replied to a question about the possibility of MGM Resorts International launching a legal action to stymie the Bridgeport scheme by describing the Las Vegas-headquartered firm as ‘a litigious company’ that has ‘sued many people.’
Osten reportedly told the newspaper…
“With slot revenues showing a steady and gradual decline because of increased competition, we can’t afford to kick the can down the road.”