HARTFORD, Conn. (WWLP) – With more than 9,000 jobs at risk, Connecticut casino workers rallied in Hartford on Wednesday to protect their livelihood by speaking with lawmakers.
As MGM continues construction in Springfield, Connecticut is on the clock to save their jobs.
“MGM Springfield is competition. Competition is okay. It’s not a big issue. But to bring those jobs back into Connecticut and to bring those monies back into Connecticut, the facility certainly needs to be built where it’s being built,” said Foxwoods employee Donald MacPhee.
The joint $300-million tribal casino is proposed for East Windsor, just 20 minutes from Springfield and one minute off the highway. Redeveloping the old Showcase Cinema plaza is what the tribes consider their perfect plan to save their jobs.
However, there’s another bill that would make Connecticut’s third casino an open competition for developers and MGM wants in.
Uri Clinton, Senior Vice President of MGM Resorts International said, “The tribes truly understand that the market can only really support one, and if we are looking for where that best option is, it’s where the money is. You follow the money and that is to the New York border. MGM’s interest is in Fairfield County.”
The tribes promise to guarantee 25% of their slot revenue to Connecticut. They called MGM a “significant threat.”
“The state could lose upwards of 100-million annually and the state could lose about 9,300 jobs if this goes through and we do nothing so it is a significant threat and that is why we have been working so hard to get this bill through,” said MMCT Spokesperson Andrew Doba.
Meanwhile, there’s another proposal that calls for a two casino solution. A tribal casino in Northern Connecticut and a commercial casino in Fairfield County.