After extending by another month the deadline for cities and towns that wished to apply for the right to host its possible new Connecticut casino development, MMCT Venture has revealed that it has now received proposals from five municipalities.
According to a report from The Day newspaper, MMCT Venture is a joint project from the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation that is pursuing a third Connecticut casino for the area alongside Interstate 91 in the north of the state. It had already received pitches from officials in East Hartford, Hartford and Windsor Locks but September’s decision to extend its deadline to October 15 has seen the towns of East Windsor and South Windsor submit bids.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority operates the Mohegan Sun resort casino in Uncasville while the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is responsible for the Foxwoods Resort Casino near the town of Ledyard. Providing the state passes legislation legalizing commercial gaming, the pair wants to build a $200 million to $300 million “satellite” casino near the border with Massachusetts in order to counter expected competition from the $950 million MGM Springfield project from MGM Resorts International, which is set to open in the summer of 2018 offering some 3,000 slots alongside 75 gaming tables.
The newspaper reported that the bid from South Windsor would involve the town of 25,700 partnering with international construction firm DCK Worldwide to develop a vacant 22-acre “shovel-ready” site along Interstate-291 between Interstate-84 and Interstate-91.
“We’re eight minutes out of Hartford [and] I think it’s a great site,” Matthew Galligan, Town Manager for South Windsor, told The Day. “We’re ready to go. There’s sewer, water and gas service there now. It’s very viable.”
For its part, East Windsor has resurrected a plan that involves three parcels located along Interstate-91 and occupied by a past Showcase Cinemas building, a former Walmart and an existing Big Y supermarket. MMCT Venture eliminated the town’s original proposal for a different site when local developer Centerplan Companies allowed options it was holding on the concerned property to lapse due to its involvement in a Hartford stadium project.
“Everyone’s in general agreement that the site we’re now proposing is a good one,” Robert Maynard, First Selectman for East Windsor, told the newspaper. “It’s adjacent to [Interstate] 91 and [United States] Route 5 is on another side. It would suit the town very well to have this developed. It would significantly increase our grand list [of taxable property] and bring in jobs. It would definitely be a positive thing.”
MMCT Venture declared that it had additionally received an application from officials in Plymouth but was unable to consider the bid as the town of 12,200 in southeastern Litchfield County lies outside of the geographic scope of its plan.
“Now more than ever, the Mashantucket Pequot [Tribal Nation] and Mohegan tribes are confident that the site we select will make our facility competitive with MGM Springfield,” said Kevin Brown, Chairman for the Mohegan Tribal Council, which manages the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority. “We look forward to reviewing and comparing these new and amended submissions and continuing a dialogue with Connecticut’s communities about how we can work together to save jobs and revenue in our state.”
MMCT Venture explained that it has already begun evaluating the latest submissions and intends to release details of the “finalists” in due course.
“Our two tribes are now one step closer to keeping thousands of jobs and millions of dollars within Connecticut’s borders,” said Rodney Butler, Chairman for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. “MMCT Venture is eager to explore our options and ultimately build this facility in a community that values the tax revenues we’ll bring to the town’s grand list.”