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Connecticut House passes bill allowing for casino proposals like MGM Bridgeport

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Connecticut House passes bill allowing for casino proposals like MGM Bridgeport

HARTFORD, CONN. -- Connecticut House lawmakers narrowly approved legislation this week that would allow for the submission of new casino proposals, including a potential MGM facility in Bridgeport, news outlets have reported.

The House of Representatives, on a 77 to 73 Friday vote, passed the bill, which asks applicants to invest at least $500 million in a gaming establishment that provides 2,000 jobs and show they're able to pay a one-time, $50 million licensing fee, according to The Day newspaper of New London.

Applications would be subject to a $5 million fee that would be refunded if rejected.

The bill, which now moves to the Connecticut Senate, is seen as a nod to MGM Resorts International's push to build a facility in Bridgeport, The Day reported. It would not authorize the opening of a new casino -- something that would require additional legislation.

MGM pitches $600 million casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut as tribal gaming operators cry foul

MGM, which is set to open a Springfield, Massachusetts casino in August, announced interest in developing a Bridgeport facility last year as Connecticut lawmakers debated expanding gambling options in the state. 

MGM's proposal has drawn criticism from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, which own Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun and are seeking to open a third facility in East Windsor to compete with MGM Springfield -- a project which has faced legal issues.

Inspector General launches investigation of Connecticut casino process following reports on MGM lobbying

The tribes have raised concerns about the new Springfield casino's impact on Connecticut gaming revenues.

Critics of the legislation have raised concerns that it could lead the tribes to stop sharing gaming revenues with the state, as they currently do for the exclusive right to operate casinos in the state, The Day reported.

MGM Senior Vice President Uri Clinton, in a statement to The Day, touted the legislation's House passage, saying Connecticut "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," Clinton said. 

MGM, Clinton added, is committed to its proposed $675 million casino and entertainment facility in Bridgeport, as well as a regional workforce development center in New Haven, according to The Day.

Read more http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&ct2=us&usg=AFQjCNEV6fINrMJUjnSuqdIeYIqT7PUAjQ&clid=c3a7d30bb8a4878e06b80cf16b898331&cid=52779891030992&ei=xH3uWrCuFYj5hgHs94v4Bw&url=http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2018/05/connecticut_house_passes_bill.html

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