Bill passed: Casino in East Windsor closer to reality

MGM Springfield scheduled to open next fall

East Windsor casino rendering (WTNH)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Connecticut is now another step closer to building its third casino just over the state line, after a late night meeting between lawmakers.

The Connecticut House of Representatives approved a bill overnight, which will allow the two Connecticut tribes that operate Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to open a casino in East Windsor.

Continuing Coverage: Casino News

By 103-46, the House granted final legislative approval for a satellite casino to be built by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes. The casino would be built at an old movie theater, not far from I-91.

In a release sent to 22News, Connecticut tribal chairmen say the passage of the bill is a sigh of relief.

“Tonight the Connecticut General Assembly passed one of the most significant jobs initiatives of the legislative session,” said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman Rodney Butler. “With more than 9,000 jobs at risk, legislators banded together to save an important sector of Connecticut’s economy.”

The tribes have said the state would lose 9,000 jobs with the opening of MGM Springfield.

The bill creates an entertainment-sharing agreement between the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes and entertainment venues across the state. It also called for an expansion of off-track betting sites and possible sports betting in the future.

The Connecticut tribes hope this new jointly-owned facility will compete with the nearly $1 billion MGM resort casino still under construction in Springfield. The East Windsor casino is expected to have 2,000 slot machines and 50 to 150 table games.

The bill, which was approved by the Senate two weeks ago, still needs to be approved by Connecticut Govenor Dannel Malloy.

MGM Springfield is scheduled to open next fall, but the tribes have expressed a desire to have their facility open before MGM opens.