When Connecticut’s General Assembly goes back to work on Wednesday, it will be meeting to discuss a number of important and even controversial topics. These include the legalization of recreational marijuana, the introduction of highway tolls and casino gambling. The state has to make up a predicted $1.4 billion budget deficit and is under great pressure not to increase taxes.
One of the issues on the cards is the question of allowing a third casino to be built in the state. It is imperative that as many Connecticut dollars as possible be kept within state lines in order to boost the sluggish economy. A new casino and entertainment complex, being built in Springfield, Massachusetts to the tune of $950 million is definitely threatening those dollars. As such, a third casino in the region could challenge the competition.
The General Assembly will hear a joint proposal from the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans – the tribes that run Connecticut’s other two casinos. An earlier bill was passed allowing the tribes to seek proposals for the building of the third casino in north-central Connecticut. The bill says that the tribes need to return to the General Assembly with their proposals in order to receive final approval for their estimated $300 million casino project.
According to the Hartford Courant, proposals have been received from South Windsor, East Windsor, East Hartford, Windsor Locks and Hartford.
In September, Kevin Brown, Mohegan Tribal Council chairman said about plans to build a third casino in the state: “We know that folks are anxious for this process to move forward, and so are we.”
“But as much as we want to get shovels in the ground, we also want to make absolutely certain that we invest hundreds of millions of our own money in the right site,” he said.
Also adding his comments was Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council chairman who said: “We believe it’s important for each and every community to know exactly what’s happening and where they stand, and so in the interest of fairness to those that applied, we’ve decided to continue the process so we can consider these latest proposals and any new submissions.”
“We’ll be making a decision in the near future, and look forward to the extensive public discussion that will come along with naming a finalist site.
The tribes have said that will take into consideration the general reaction of the public when the finalist list has been completed.