Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun have been given the go-ahead to develop a jointly run casino in Connecticut in order to fend off competition that will come from MGM Springfield‘s nearby Massachusetts casino in a few short years. Municipalities in the region, including the state’s capital, Hartford are considering whether they would like to compete to host the new casino.
Last week the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes filed a request for proposals with Hartford, as confirmed by Thomas E. Deller, Hartford’s director of development, to the local Hartford Courant yesterday. Deller said the city will be taking a look at it imminently, but that the review is in the earliest stages and the city might not end up bidding for the casino.
He did seem to indicate that several potential locations, not all in the downtown area, would be under consideration for the proposal but did not identify any of them.
Were Hartford to go forward with seeking the casino location it would not likely be an easy feat. Wynn Resorts sought a location near Hartford in the 1990’s and was roundly turned away. Mayoral front runner, Luke Bronin is not behind the idea. “I don’t see a casino as the solution to Hartford’s challenges, and I don’t agree that it hurts Hartford if the casino goes somewhere else,” the Courant is reporting that Bronin said in a statement. However the winner of the mayoral race won’t take office until after the bid is due. The tribes should choose a location by the middle of December with bids due just after the 2016 elections.
The casino, which the tribes hope to open long before MGM’s projected Fall 2018 debut, will have 2,000 slots and video poker machines and up to 150 gaming tables.