In Connecticut, the tribal joint venture that is hoping to build a small satellite casino in the community of East Windsor reportedly held an intimate ceremony yesterday to mark the start of work to clear the site for the planned venue.
According to a report from the MassLive.com news portal, the clearance work from MMCT Venture, which is a joint enterprise of Connecticut’s casino-operating Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is expected to take about six weeks and will involve the demolition of a former Showcase Cinemas franchise that has been sitting empty since 2008.
The joint venture is reportedly subsequently hoping to spend at least $300 million to construct its provisionally-named Mohegan Sun Foxwoods East Windsor venue complete with a 100,000 sq ft gaming floor although it is still waiting to receive federal approval for its plan from the Bureau of Indian Affairs subordinate of the United States Department of the Interior.
MMCT Venture reportedly told MassLive.com that construction of its Mohegan Sun Foxwoods East Windsor, which is expected to last around two years, will lead to the creation of some 4,300 jobs with the venue later projected to employ at least 650 Hartford-area residents.
However, Mass Live.com reported that the plan to build the Mohegan Sun Foxwoods East Windsor has drawn staunch opposition from American casino giant MGM Resorts International, which is spending about $950 million to construct its MGM Springfield venue only 13 miles away in the central Massachusetts city of Springfield. The Las Vegas-headquartered operator purportedly hopes to have this gambling property open by September and has been lobbying Connecticut officials to invalidate MMCT Venture’s permission in lieu of initiating a competitive bidding process for the eastern state’s third casino license.
If its blocking move is successful, MGM Resorts International reportedly wants to be given the right to build its $675 million waterfront MGM Bridgeport facility in the state’s largest city in order to take advantage of that area’s close proximity to the lucrative market in New York City.
“Maybe we should thank MGM [Resorts International],” East Windsor First Selectman Robert Maynard reportedly told MassLive.com. “Without them coming to Springfield, maybe the tribes would not be building here and this is a great site.”