House passes bill to allow study of a new casino in CT

(MGM Resorts)

HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) –

On Friday, the House passed a bill that would allow a study of another casino to be built in the state.

The bill passed 77 to 73 and will now go to the Senate for a vote.

If passed, a new casino could be built in either Bridgeport or New Haven.

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim released a statement on Friday praising the vote.

“I am extremely proud of the determination, courage and leadership of the Bridgeport legislative delegation, who together with their partners from New Haven and the entire region stood up for substantial growth in jobs and revenue for all of Connecticut. This vote sends a strong signal to the business community that we support fair play in the marketplace, we support open competition and we are open for business,” Ganim said in the statement.

This new casino, which would be built by MGM, could bring 7,000 new jobs to the state.

"Let’s be clear, the only thing this bill accomplishes is to place in jeopardy nearly $1.4 BILLION is state tax revenue, $328 MILLION of which is slated to go directly to cities and towns," Mashantucket Pequot Tribal National spokesman Andrew Doba said. "Any legislator who votes for this bill is going to have to head back to their community and explain why they voted to place millions in funding in jeopardy, funding that helps with providing services and keeping taxes down. Those are tough questions to answer any year, but particularly in an election year.”

If built in Bridgeport, it would be built at Steelpointe Harbor.

“As a result of the bi-partisan support of members of Connecticut’s House of Representatives, the state is one step closer to adopting a best-in-class process for possible selection of a commercial casino operator. We look forward to continuing this discussion and supporting the legislation as it continues to move through the legislative process. And we look forward to the Senate and Governor concurring with the House, so that the competitive process can begin, companies including the Tribes can put forth their proposals, and the state can determine the deal that’s best for Connecticut. While we anticipate that several Tribal and commercial gaming operators will ultimately participate in an open RFP process, MGM is committed to making sure that its proposal for a $675 million casino and entertainment facility in Bridgeport and a regional workforce development center in New Haven is world class. MGM is ready to make the same quality long-term investment in Connecticut as we have done and continue to do in other Northeastern gaming jurisdictions,” said Uri Clinton, Senior Vice President of MGM.

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