A new casino in Connecticut will be built. This, according to Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s spokesman Mark Bergman – as reported by the Associated Press Friday. The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes successfully pushed for the rights to build and operate a casino together to stave off competition from upcoming casinos out of state. According to the AP report, the “governor fully intends to sign it into law.”
The tribes run gambling venues in Connecticut including Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun resorts. In their presentations to the public and legislators they claimed that nearly 10,000 jobs could be lost to new casinos opening in Massachusetts and New York in the coming years.
The final casino bill that will hit the governor’s desk calls for a multi-step process to get the casino off the ground. The tribes will solicit requests for proposals from cities and towns interested in hosting the casino. The most likely location will be in north central Connecticut along the I-91 corridor.
Reporting requirements for the selection process include a review by the state attorney general to address constitutional concerns he raised earlier and to ensure any development agreement does not conflict with current tribal/state gambing compacts. The state collects 25% of the slot revenues from each tribe’s resort casinos.
Once preliminary approvals are garnered the General Assembly will need to amend state law to allow gambling, which is currently not legal. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun operate on sovereign tribal land, outside of the state’s jurisdiction except for terms of their compacts.
In a joint statement, chairmen for the two tribes said, “Competition from gaming in New York and Massachusetts will impact our state, and we appreciate the support from our government partners.”