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October 19, 2019Cart


by Fairfield County Business Journal

Tribes tell state they are interested in a Bridgeport casino

The chairmen of the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes, the respective owners of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, have sent a letter to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state legislative leaders stating their interest in exploring the possibility of a building a casino in Bridgeport.

“Back in 2015, our initial proposal would have authorized three new facilities, one in north-central CT, one in the Danbury area and one in Fairfield County,” the chairmen wrote. “It was the legislature’s decision to move forward with only one site in the north-central Hartford region. If circumstances have changed and there is now real interest in putting a casino in Bridgeport, we want to be a part of that discussion.”

But the tribes made no mention of MGM Resorts International, which recently offered a proposal to create a casino resort in the Steel Point section of Bridgeport. Separate from their letter, the tribes have produced an online advertisement designed to cast doubt on that company’s intentions. “Connecticut isn’t getting an MGM casino – it’s getting played,” their advertisement states.

Likewise, MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO James Murren has not offered any hint of potential teamwork with the tribes. In an appearance earlier this week before the Bridgeport Regional Business Council, the Bridgeport-born Murren said having a casino in his hometown “could be one of my crowning achievements.”

The Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes were planning to open a casino in East Windsor, just over the border from an MGM Resorts casino under construction in Springfield, Massachusetts, that is scheduled to open next October. However, the East Windsor project has stalled because U.S. Department of the Interior has not ruled on the amendments to the gaming compacts between the tribes and the state, effectively halting the project. The tribes and the state filed a lawsuit last month to force a federal decision on the amendments.