HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The head of the Connecticut Airport Authority said Tuesday he wants to bring a casino to Bradley International Airport.
The airport authority is joining a growing list of suitors interested in hosting a casino that the operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun want to open somewhere in northern Connecticut.
“The airport represents a very viable location because of its significant levels of passenger traffic, and the CAA believes a casino can be incorporated into improvements that are being advanced for the terminal campus area,” said Kevin Dillon, the airport authority’s executive director.
The Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans, the tribes that own Connecticut’s casinos, are working together to pursue a third property to compete with an MGM casino planned across the state line, in Springfield, Massachusetts. The tribes issued a request for proposals earlier this month and will be accepting applications until Nov. 6.
Windsor Locks, the town where the airport is located, has been asked to consider working with the airport authority on the proposal.
Windsor Locks First Selectman Steven Wawruck Jr. said the potential drawbacks to hosting a casino would have to be discussed but he is interested in exploring the prospects.
“With shrinking state revenues and jobs on the decline, it’s important to explore all opportunities and keep dollars and jobs in Connecticut,” he said.
The airport authority’s director has been invited to make a presentation to the Board of Selectmen next week, Wawruck said. He said the town would ultimately hold a vote on whether to welcome a casino if the tribes in the end choose Windsor Locks as their preferred location.
Other developers have pitched locations in East Hartford and Enfield as possible sites for a tribe-owned casino.
The tribes expect to make a decision by Dec. 15 on a site that would serve 10,000 visitors a day. The General Assembly would then need to pass legislation allowing a third tribal casino in Connecticut. Lawmakers return to Hartford in February.
Among other details, the request for proposals asks about the nearest highway, the utilities available, how adjacent properties are used, prior land uses and the local zoning approval process. It also asks for the owner of the land and the municipality to acknowledge that they understand the parcel has been submitted to the tribes for consideration.
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