SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Connecticut is one step closer to getting a new casino.
The state senate in Connecticut approved a bill Wednesday that would clear the way for two Native American tribes to build a third casino at the former Showcase Cinemas Property in East Windsor.
The proposed casino would be located about 20 minutes away from downtown Springfield, which means it could directly compete with MGM Springfield for employees and customers.
Right now, the closest competition to MGM Springfield would be about 60 miles away, but if the East Windsor casino is approved, it would create competition less than 20 miles away, a distance many people say is far too close.
Still, many Springfield residents are tossing the dice, and hoping the odds land in MGM Springfield’s favor.
Thomas Daigneau of Springfield told 22News while he doesn’t want to see another casino in East Windsor, he still believes in MGM Springfield. “It’s kind of an unfair practice, but I think MGM will come out alright in the end. It may take the clientele from MGM Springfield… where they would have come up here, they’re going to stay down in Connecticut now,” he said.
That’s exactly what the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes want to see happen. Their goal is to compete with MGM Springfield to keep jobs and revenue in the state.
Windsor Locks resident Jasmine Byrd told 22News, she thinks a third casino would do more harm than good. “I don’t think it’s a good idea, just because of the location. As far as Springfield, I would prefer to travel out, instead of seeing another casino draw more traffic in,” she said.
The bill still must be approved by Connecticut’s House of Representatives and signed by Governor Dannel Malloy before it can become law.