Not Everyone Supports Expanded Gambling

NBC Universal, Inc.

It’s possible that Connecticut residents may be able to place a bet on their phones by Labor Day, but not everyone is happy about it. At least a handful of lawmakers had concerns about the legislation. 

“It creates the potential for increased addiction,” Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, said.

Hwang voted against the legislation because it could increase the potential to addict a whole new generation. 

“You are looking to hook 18- to 25-year-old men and women that are going to be influenced and they could be increased potential for gambling addiction,” Hwang said, 

The legislation, which is headed to Gov. Ned Lamont’s desk, would require the two tribes to contribute $500,000 toward problem gambling. The lottery will increase its contribution to $3.3 million.

“It is a scant dollar amount that is looking to address the potential increase in the dangers of addiction,” Hwang said.

Other opponents of the legislation which allows for online gaming and sports wagering were upset about the East Windsor casino. 

“Contract between the tribes and the state of Connecticut which is going to restrict any construction of a casino on that land for 10 years,” Sen. Saud Anwar.

Anwar, a Democrat who represents East Windsor, said the first selectman learned about the decision to prohibit a casino to be built in a Facebook post.  

“That is disappointing that’s not coming through. At the same time I understand that things change,” Sen. Julie Kushner, D-Danbury, said.

Kushner supported the bill but hopes the state makes things right. 

“I do hope we recognize the investment that was made by East Windsor and I hope we will see some legislation as we move forward that will address that.” 

Kushner says the bill will help the economy.

“In recent years we’ve seen this industry change in the way that the gaming is conducted and the entertainment is conducted and those changes have really dramatically impacted our state,” Kushner said.

Gov. Ned Lamont said, “we want to get going. We want to get this down to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. We want to get approval.”

Contact Us