Connecticut tribes taking proposals for 3rd casino

Enfield, Windsor Locks, East Windsor, and East Hartford mentioned as potential sites

Connecticut State Capitol
The Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.

HARTFORD, Conn. (WWLP) – The two tribes that run Connecticut’s casinos are now accepting bids for a proposed third casino in the state. In Hartford Thursday morning, officials from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe- which runs Foxwoods Resort Casino, and the Mohegan Tribe- operators of Mohegan Sun, announced a request for proposals for the new facility, which they want to build north of Hartford.

“The two tribes want what any buyer would want: the easiest possible site to develop in the shortest amount of time with the fewest costs,” said Barbara Pearce of Pearce Real Estate.

Land owners and municipalities together must submit proposals before November 6th, and a decision will be made by December 15th. Then the race against MGM Springfield continues.

“We’re looking for a 12-15 month build time frame once we get final approvals,” said Mashantucket Pequot Chair Rodney Butler.

The partnering tribes, calling themselves MM4CT, claim some 9300 Connecticut jobs will be at risk because of casinos in Massachusetts and New York. Mohegan Chair Kevin Brown said MGM should focus on their Springfield project, while the tribes focus on the market they already own.

“Massachusetts opened their doors to gaming because they recognized the very same thing we are talking about here today for Connecticut. Casinos equals jobs. Casinos equals revenue. And it equals revenues that aren’t lost across borders to another state,” Brown said.

The tribes are looking for a visible site that could support a 500,000 square-foot facility and meets environmental regulations. The proposal would also have to meet the following criteria they outlined Thursday:

  • That they be committed to the protection and preservation of Connecticut jobs
  • Be committed to a sustainable, regional approach to development, and to leveraging the gaming facility to create jobs and development opportunities for the region
  • Recognize and welcome us as active and willing members of the community with a genuine stake in a well-managed and well-sited facility
  • Understand that the gaming market in New England is extremely competitive, and as a result sufficient public infrastructure, tax policies, and willing and well-trained workforces are essential to the regional battle for jobs and revenue
  • Demonstrate the ability and willingness to work with landowners, developers, labor, and other stakeholders to achieve our common goal of completing a project quickly and efficiently

We’ve included a link to the full request for proposals here.

MGM has filed a lawsuit, saying that Connecticut’s law does not allow for competing companies to bid for the third casino.

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