House Passes Bill That Requests New Casino Proposals

The Connecticut House of Representatives has narrowly approved legislation that creates a process that could eventually lead to a new, $500 million casino in Connecticut, possibly in Bridgeport.

The bill passed on a 77-73 vote Friday. It now awaits action in the Senate, where its fate is questionable.

Under the proposal, two state agencies are required to develop and issue a request for proposals from casino developers. The agencies would then evaluate the responses and present them to the General Assembly for consideration.

The bill has pitted lawmakers from one corner of the state against the other.

Bridgeport and New Haven legislators led the charge for the legislation, while those from southeastern Connecticut opposed the bill, saying it risks two tribal casinos and the state's share of slot machine revenues.

MGM, which has been pushing to build a casino in Bridgeport, released the following statement:

“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.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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