Connecticut voters against more casinos, poll says

59% oppose adding any more gaming facilities

Connecticut Senate Pres. Martin Looney (D-New Haven) speaking at a news conference announcing new legislation to allow up to three new gaming facilities in Connecticut.

HAMDEN, Conn. (WWLP) – Connecticut legislative leaders announced a plan to allow up to three more gaming facilities in the state Tuesday, but a new poll suggests that voters in the state do not think that is a good idea. The Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found that 59% of voters disapprove of allowing Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to operate smaller gaming facilities near the Massachusetts and New York state lines. Only 36% think it is a good idea.

The poll was taken days before the Senate Democratic leadership actually announced their plan, which would allow up to three such gaming facilities. The facilities would incorporate slots and table games, but would not have hotels. Senate President Martin Looney (D-New Haven) said that it is likely one such facility would be located between Hartford and Springfield, where MGM Resorts International plans an $800 million casino.

State officials have already seen revenues from Foxwoods and Mohegan decline amid competition from casinos in Rhode Island and New York. The possibility of a major resort casino just a short drive from the Hartford area is particularly worrisome. Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) went so far as to say Massachusetts declared
“economic war” on Connecticut by allowing casinos.

The poll found opposition to additional gaming facilities among all party affiliations, and all age groups except voters 18-34 years old. By an even larger margin, voters would oppose any more full resort-casinos in Connecticut, 75% to 20%. This was opposed by all demographic groups.

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