The plan to open a third casino in Connecticut received a huge boost on Monday after the state’s House of Representatives voted in favor of a new memoranda of understanding as well as amended gaming compacts for the two tribes behind the project.

According to a report from the Associated Press news service, last month saw Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy (pictured)  approve a plan to give MMCT Venture, which is a partnership between the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, permission to build a new Class III casino in the small community of East Windsor with the proposal earlier being ratified by both houses of the Connecticut General Assembly.

However, the news service reported that the tribes must also have revised gambling compacts and a new memorandum of understanding for the project signed off by the Connecticut House of Representatives and the Connecticut State Senate as well as the federal government’s Bureau of Indian Affairs before being allowed to open the new Hartford County gambling establishment.

The Associated Press reported that the July 24 approval by a margin of 118 to 32 of both of these prerequisites in the Democratic controlled Connecticut House of Representatives means that the East Windsor scheme is now well on its way to becoming a reality. MMCT Venture is currently said to be in the process of finalizing the design for the coming casino near the state’s border with Massachusetts and earlier declared that construction could start as early as the autumn.

The Mohegan Tribe is responsible via its Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment vehicle for the Mohegan Sun in southeastern Connecticut while the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation runs the nearby Foxwoods Resort Casino. The news service reported that their revised gaming compacts as well as the new memorandum of understanding for MMCT Venture are now set to be debated in the Connecticut State Senate from next week.

The new gaming compacts would reportedly not impact the tribes’ current deals that see them surrender 25% of their slot revenues to the state but would require the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to extend this arrangement to the coming East Windsor facility. The revised plans would additionally see the operators make an initial $1 million payment to Hartford and agree to forfeit one-quarter of all future gross gaming revenues from the East Windsor facility.

Finally, the memorandum of understanding would reportedly require MMCT Venture to pay $300,000 every year in order to address problem gambling concerns and agree to cover all of the regulatory oversight costs incurred by the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection.

 

One Response

  1. Steven Norton

    Originally the idea of a third Connecticut casino was about saving jobs and State revenue; but now the proposed casino in East Windsor seems more about destroying MGM Springfield. Because if it was just jobs and CT revenue sharing, a site on or near the New York border, would produce far more jobs and revenue, than a satellite casino near Springfield. And one fact that seems to be escaping those behind the effort, is that the E. Windsor casino will do much more harm to the existing Mohegan Sun and Foxwood’s casinos, than a casino close to Westchester and several other NY counties.
    The start of casino gaming in Eastern Pennsylvania, adding table games to Twin Rivers, and the new racino in Massachusetts, have already had a significant impact on the casino revenues at the two Tribal casinos, and their employment and the 25% CT revenue share from slot win.
    MGM will be drawing customers from the Greater Hartford market, but Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods already do, so adding a fourth casino to a medium sized market, could do as much harm to the existing Tribal casinos as it will to MGM.
    What the Tribes and Connecticut should be thankful for, is the 20 years it has taken Massachusetts to finally approve gaming Legislation. In the mid 1990’s, as President of Argosy Gaming, I was negotiating with the Springfield Government, for a riverboat casino in the Connecticut River. And then in 2002, I was assisting the MA Senate, that passed a bill for report casinos, and when that failed in the House, a bill to allow slots at racetracks; also opposed by the following year’s House Speaker. So for 20 years, Foxwoods, and later Mohegan Sun, have benefited from MA customers, leaving a $ billion or more annually at their neighboring casinos. But the current CT efforts, seems anything, but neighborly.

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