The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Chairmen and East Windsor town officials held a ceremonial signing event Thursday to mark the agreement between the town and the tribes to build a third casino.
Some state officials and labor leaders also attended.
The proposed site was the prior home of a Showcase Cinema and a Wal-Mart.
On Saturday the East Windsor Board of Selectmen approved a development agreement for the casino. The agreement states that MMCT will pay the town $3 million no later than 15 months before the gaming facility opens. MMCT would also pay the town $3 million annually on top of regular tax payments, which are expected to total approximately $5.5 million per year.
Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown expressed his excitement at working with the town of East Windsor and emphasized that the tribes would keep the community's best interests in mind.
“We want to look out for you. We want to help plan with you – we want to do all the things we’ve done already in our home communities,” Brown said.
He also reiterated that the tribes planned to prioritize locals for employment both during the construction phase and for permanent jobs.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler spoke about the need to keep revenue and jobs in Connecticut and to compete with MGM in Massachusetts, which is opening a casino in the Springfield area. He said the tribes wanted to focus on continued success in Connecticut and would look for local contracts to further the benefit to the community.
East Windsor First Selectman Robert Maynard spoke in support of the project and said he was pleased to keep jobs and tax revenue in Connecticut.
“It is my pleasure to partner with the tribal nations to bring to central Connecticut a new beginning, a time when we can grow and work together.”
East Windsor Police Chief Edward DeMarco also spoke and assured the community that public safety would not suffer from the project.
Traffic congestion and public safety remain major concerns for opponents of the casino, as well as the societal impacts of gambling.
Lawmakers still have to approve a third casino and the governor would have to sign off on any bill that made it to his desk.