Tribal leaders continue push to add three CT casinos

CT lawmakers target Springfield

HARTFORD, Conn. (WWLP) – Connecticut lawmakers continue their push to add up to three more casinos.

“It’s so important for us when these facilities open to be able to compete with Massachusetts, which is frankly doing its best to steal our jobs,” said State Sen. Martin Looney (D) New Haven.

Leaders of the two tribes who run Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods stepped up their efforts to add more casinos in Connecticut as well at a public hearing in Hartford on Tuesday.

The tribal leaders said doing nothing will cost the state thousands of jobs, while some state lawmakers continue to fire shots directed at Springfield.

“When i said last week that Massachusetts has declared economic war on us, and we’re going to fight back they didn’t like that very much,” said State Sen. Bob Duff (D) Norwalk.

State lawmakers, union workers and tribal leaders held a rally on the steps of the State House in Hartford to support a bill that would allow up to three new casinos in Connecticut.

The when and where of the casino plans are unclear, but it is known they are targeting one between Hartford and Springfield.

“The details of the business structure and how and why we might do this that will come with diligence and with time, but we can’t waste our time pushing forward on that until we know for a fact that this is the state is interested in doing this,” said Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown.

Mohegan Sun tried and failed twice to bring a casino to Massachusetts. Foxwoods is still attempting to bring one to Southeastern Massachusetts.  The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman doesn’t see a conflict.

“The Southeast region is really a unique region in itself in its location to the rest of the state, and we think that works well with what we’re trying to accomplish,” said Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman.

What the leaders of the tribes tried to accomplish at a public hearing was to sell Connecticut Lawmakers on jobs. When keeping Connecticut gaming dollars from going to Springfield is just if not more important.

“What we’re looking at is achieving equilibrium across the Northeast region and we want to get our share of that equilibrium,” said Brown.

Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy isn’t sold on this casino proposal, saying in a news conference Tuesday morning he’s willing to learn more about the bill, but Connecticut shouldn’t see this as a way to generate money.

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