SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Just after midnight Friday, Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed a bill that could potentially allow for another casino in their state.
The bill that will allow the two tribes that currently operate casinos in Connecticut, the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots, to enter into a development agreement with one new host community.
Right now, Connecticut’s two casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, are each at least 70 miles away from where MGM Springfield is building. The new Connecticut casino bill could potentially shorten that distance. The 22News I-Team uncovered that there are least three Connecticut towns showing interest in hosting a new casino: East Windsor, Windsor Locks, and East Hartford. Two of those towns are located directly between Springfield and Hartford, and all three are significantly closer to MGM’s site than Connecticut’s current casinos.
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker told 22News that he has confidence that MGM is the right company to deal with this kind of competition.
“There are limits to what we can control in respect to what Connecticut does, but the MGM proposal is terrific and very well located to support the region in Massachusetts and New York and all the rest,” Gov. Baker said.
The 22News I-Team also spoke to the Massachusetts Gaming Commission when the bill first was first being discussed in Connecticut. The Gaming Commission said then that they awarded MGM their casino license in part because of their ability to deal with nearby competition.
MGM Springfield is expected to open in the South End in the fall of 2017, but the company says that if Connecticut’s casino bill becomes law, they would like to open even earlier.
The bill is now headed to Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy for approval.