Debate Continues Over Non-Tribal Group Casino Bill

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBS Connecticut) – Both sides of the debate made their case at a public hearing Monday before the state legislature’s Finance Revenue and Bonding Committee, on a bill that would allow non-tribal groups to vie to build a new casino in Connecticut.

MGM, which is building a casino in Springfield, Mass, says it also has an interest in gaming in Connecticut. Uri Clinton, senior vice president and legal counsel for MGM, argues that competition would benefit the state. “If you’re going to make the policy decision to have a third casino, you should do it in a way that maximizes jobs, maximizes economic benefit to the state,” he said.

But East Windsor First Selectman Bob Maynard has accused MGM of waging a misinformation campaign about plans by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to build a satellite casino in his town. “They [MGM] demonstrate that they will do or say anything to stop or slow this project,” he said. “A casino in East Windsor will generate an estimated $337 million a year in revenue.”

A new report commissioned by the federally recognized tribes says Connecticut would lose almost $86 million per year in revenue, if it opens up casino rights to a competitive bidding process.

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