Connecticut revises casino bill, at least three towns showing interest

HARTFORD, Conn. (WWLP) – Connecticut’s State Senate has approved a revised casino bill.  22News reveals the changes, and which towns are interested in developing a casino.

The new bill only starts a process where Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods could pick a location.  It would not approve a new casino in Connecticut.

Connecticut’s revised casino bill has trimmed the number of potential new casinos from three to one.  We know of three towns that have legitimate interest.  East Windsor, Windsor Locks and East Hartford.  Former Springfield city councilor Tony Ravosa is pushing his plan at an old movie theater in East Hartford, off of I-84.

“For me it’s always been about what’s best for Connecticut, I think that too much emphasis has been placed upon the perceived impacts for Springfield.  I think there’s enough business out there, I think having two quality facilities elevates what everyone has to be in terms of their “A” game,” said Ravosa.

Right off I-91, East Windsor has three vacant lots that could be a potential match for a casino.

“They want something between Hartford and Springfield on the 91 corridor that really does put us in focus,” said East Windsor’s First Selectman Denise Menard.

Ravosa believes reducing the number of potential casinos takes some of the allure away from making sure one is on the I-91 corridor between Hartford and Springfield.

“I thought from the word go, the concept of three casinos wasn’t something that was going to fly and I don’t really think that that’s necessary,” said Ravosa.

Menard mentions three vacant lots in East Windsor as potential casino sites. The former La Renaissance Banquet Hall, a former movie theater and the old Walmart, all within a mile of each other and all visible from I-91. She told 22News, although the casino bill does not require a referendum, East Windsor plans to have a binding vote regardless.  She says the town is currently split.

“Pretty much a 50/50 mix and people are adamant on both sides of it,” said Menard.

The revised Senate bill still needs to be approved by Connecticut’s State Representatives and the Governor. It could be another 8-10 months before a new casino is actually voted on.

We spoke with Windsor Locks’ first selectman Steven Wawruck. He told 22News he’s talked to the owners of the Bobby V’s and the Off Track Betting location and there is still interest in bringing a casino to their town.

 

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