SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s official. MGM Springfield will have competition. MGM’s ability to tap into Connecticut’s gaming market will face a $300-million dollar obstacle.
“Let there be no doubt that Massachusetts made a decision to get as much gaming out of Connecticut and into their state and this was an appropriate response,” said Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy.
Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into law Connecticut’s casino bill on Thursday. A joint venture between the Native American tribes who operate Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. The casino in East Windsor, Connecticut will be built at the former Showcase Cinema plaza, just off of I-91 an 15 minutes from Springfield.
News of Connecticut’s third casino comes after MGM itself lobbied unsuccessfully for Connecticut lawmakers to open up the bidding process to commercial developers like themselves. In a statement they said their fight isn’t over yet.
“We continue to believe that the process put in place by the Legislature and signed today by the Governor violates both the Connecticut and U.S. Constitutions. As such, we will continue to pursue all legal remedies.”
The tribes will pay the state $1-million right away and collect 25% of the total gaming revenue.
“They promised us like $8-million and some of that will be given to tax relief,” said Robert Cleveland of East Windsor, Connecticut.
And the big question, will there be enough customers for both casinos to not only survive but thrive?
“I was a little worried about that honestly just because it is so close to Springfield. People who live in that part of Connecticut might just stay in that part which will drive competition down here,” said Juan Gonzalez of Springfield.
Ultimately, only time will tell. The tribes say they’ll also contribute $300,000 a year to help with gambling addiction. CT will put 15% of the casino’s revenue into their general fund and 10% toward promoting tourism.