Connecticut

Proposal Suggests Selling XL Center to Create a Casino: Report

State officials are reacting to a report of a proposal to bring a casino to Hartford.

The idea, floated in a Hartford Courant report, would be to end the East Windsor casino plan and sell the XL Center to the tribes, but there’s no formal action that’s been taken.

This comes out just days after a bipartisan group of lawmakers proposed the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes open a casino in Bridgeport and be allowed to have sports betting at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, as well as online.

A spokesperson for Gov. Ned Lamont said he finds the idea about the XL Center interesting, but there’s been no movement on it. He and others do agree that something needs to be done regarding the aging arena.

“What’s important to me is to have a revitalized XL Center that brings Hartford back to life, and I think XL is a big part of that,” Lamont said.

“There's just no question that the XL center is obsolete,” added Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “It's desperately in need of modernization and investment and I think it's important not just to the city of Hartford but to the region and to the state of Connecticut.”

MMCT, a joint venture of the two tribes, released a statement about the situation, saying,

"The Tribes believe that Hartford can be part of a larger gaming bill, which is why they support the bipartisan, bicameral legislation that was announced last week that would include the development of an entertainment zone in the Capital City. However, they are not willing to walk away from the Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor, a project where they've invested nearly $20 million.”

The governor’s spokesperson said Lamont wants to see a broad solution for gambling, including brick and mortar, iLottery, and sports betting.

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