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Connecticut Lawmakers Draft Legislation That Would Put Third Casino In Bridgeport

Bill Would Also Bring Sports Betting To The State


Foxwoods Resort Casino, one of two tribal casinos in ConnecticutConnecticut lawmakers and the state’s two tribes agreed to terms of legislation that would bring a third casino to the state, along with legal sports betting through run by the two tribes.

Currently, the only two casinos are located in the southeastern region of the state, near the Rhode Island border. The proposed third casino would be located in Bridgeport, about 90 minutes south and much closer to New York.

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, owners of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, would become partners for the Bridgeport casino. Earlier this year, there were reports of the two tribes partnering on a casino in the Hartford area. Since that report, the plans have shifted to a different location.

Gov. Ned Lamont was not involved in the legislation and it isn’t a lock that he supports the legislation, according to the Hartford Courant. Lamont received the legislation last week and wants to be involved in the process.

“A matter of such significance requires substantial involvement from multiple stakeholders, in particular, the executive branch,” Lamont told the Courant.

Sen. Cathy Osten, a Democrat, has requested a special legislative session for later in the year to work on the legislation. Other Democrats are mulling over the idea of a special session and said that they will consult Lamont before making a final decision.

Along with a third casino, the proposed legislation would expand gaming in the state.

According to the Courant, ‘Tribes also would conduct sports betting at the casinos, via mobile apps and internet gambling.’ The state lottery would be allowed to sell tickets online and offer iKeno through their website.

Sports betting would be taxed at 8 percent and internet gambling would have a 10 percent tax-rate.

The tribes would be on the hook for the entire financial burden of the new casino. It forces the tribes to spend at least $100 million on the Bridgeport project in hopes that it would spark other businesses to sprout in the city and bring the total project to around $300 million in new investments.

There is a possibility that MGM, which was looking at Bridgeport as a possible site for a future casino, would take litigious action to stop the casino from breaking ground.

“They have sued many people,” said Osten when asked about the possible lawsuit. “That’s what they’ve done in the state of Connecticut, to stymie growth in business.”

If a court overturns the law, the bill would be revoked.