SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – First, it was just Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods in Connecticut. Now, casinos and slots parlors in surrounding states like Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York are making the market more competitive.
Add MGM Springfield by the state line in 2018, and Connecticut’s casino tribal leaders and lawmakers are concerned about their revenue. However, one lawmaker fears a proposal for a third casino in Connecticut would be too much.
“We are looking at a declining, oversaturated marketplace,” said State Senator Tony Hwang (R-Fairfield). He added, “I think we have to understand that jobs and promises are critical, but are they real? And are they truly sustainable in an economy that is on a decline?” Hwang is also part of the coalition, “No More Casinos in Connecticut.”
He suggested there be a societal impact study included as researchers look into the effects of a third casino owned by a private enterprise, rather than by tribes.
MGM Springfield has a unique design, unlike any other MGM resort. It is part of the downtown landscape, encouraging people to leave the gaming floor and explore parts of the city. The City of Springfield hopes that, in turn, will lead to long-term economic success in the city.
“You know, we’ve got strong competition in this market down in the Connecticut, with the Connecticut tribes. They’re huge Las Vegas-style sort of four-wall type resorts, and to distinguish this from that experience, we really want to embrace the downtown,” said MGM Springfield President Mike Mathis.
MGM International has also expressed interest in building a casino in southern Connecticut, if the state allows it.