MGM Resorts has renewed its call for the state to organize a competing bidding process for the upcoming Bridgeport casino. The southeastern Connecticut’s gaming tribes have expressed interest to join the process.
The senior vice president and legal counsel of the MGM Resorts wrote to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state legislative leaders that the Tribes’ willingness to be a ‘part of that discussion’ is good news for Connecticut. He added that it indicates discussion is in the best interest of the state.
The chairmen of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, who own Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, respectively, wrote in a letter to legislative leaders that they want to be involved in any discussion of a Bridgeport casino.
In his letter, Clinton also mentioned that the Tribes do realize the tremendous potential of the Bridgeport casino project. It also assures that Bridgeport is by far the most suited location in the state for a commercial casino to come up. It would surely contribute significantly to the State’s gaming revenue.
It was during the last legislative session that the tribes got the approval on jointly developing a commercial casino on a nontribal land in East Windsor. The East Windsor project aimed to negate the impact of $1 billion resort casino MGM Resorts was building in Springfield, Mass. At that time, MGM had argued the bill granting the tribes an exclusive right to develop a third casino in the state.
The gaming agreements signed decades ago states that the tribes are required to share their casinos’ slot-machine revenues with the state for the grant of exclusivity. It also said that the payments to the state would end if and when another entity gets to operate a casino in the state.
A spokesman for the tribes, Andrew Doba said that MGM's project would cost the state more than $1 billion in lost revenue while continuing the partnership does not put the state in a similar spot but only improves the amount of revenue it gets.
MGM’s Bridgeport plans a $675 million destination resort on the city’s waterfront. It is expected to create 7,000 jobs and includes a regional workforce development center.