The Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have come to a decision on the location of a jointly-operated casino in Connecticut. The third casino for the state has received local approval in East Windsor and now the development needs the approval of state lawmakers to move forward. The plans for the casino were created in efforts to take on the growing competition in the region, including the up and coming MGM Springfield casino of Massachusetts.
The location of the new casino will actually be just 13 miles away from the MGM Springfield venue, with the gambling facility to be created off I-91 at the site of a former Showcase Cinemas. The tribes decided on this location due to providing direct competition to the MGM venue as well as job potential.
In a press release, Rodney Butler, the Chairman for Mashantucket, stated that from the beginning, the tribes stated they wanted the site for the new casino to be in a town that is eager to have them. The unanimous vote by the Board of Selectman over the weekend proved that East Windsor fit the bill, with Butler stating they are thrilled to have entered a partnership with the town.
Kevin Brown, the Mohegan Chairman, stated that the announcement, which was made yesterday, is a critical step towards the goal of saving the state’s jobs and revenues. Brown stated that they are honored to have the community of East Windsor by their side moving forward to bring the facility to life.
The two tribes already operate separate casinos on their reservations with the Mohegan Tribe operating the Mohegan Sun and the Mashantucket in charge of the Foxwoods Resort Casino. Each of these facilities are about 60 miles from the town of East Windsor. The tribes have the exclusive rights to Class III games and in exchange, they share 25% of their proceeds of slot gaming with the state. They have joined together creating MMCT Venture LLC in order to work together on the third casino for the state.
The search for the location began last year and has taken some time, as the tribes wanted to ensure they choose the right area for the new venue. The search began as the tribes discovered that the new MGM Springfield Casino could remove almost $70 million from the state in its first year in business. With the East Windsor location, the casino has the ability to keep revenues in the state as well as provide jobs.
If approval for the East Windsor location is received, close to 4% of the workforce for the new venue would come from residents in the area. A minimum of 15% must live within a 25-mile radius of the casino, which also helps the venue be in competition with the MGM resort when it comes to their workforce.