A new study shows that southwest Connecticut instead of the north central part of the state would be a better location to get a third casino.
MGM said their new study shows Fairfield County would create a lot more revenue and jobs with a commercial casino.
Officials said a casino in that location could generate $545 million in total economic output. It would also create 3,600 more jobs and $128 million more in revenue for the state, according to study commission by MGM.
The Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans have been granted legislative approval to negotiate with several towns. Their search is focused on the north central part of the state.
A spokesperson for the tribes said "It should surprise exactly no one that an MGM funded study finds that the best place to put a new casino is as far away as possible from MGM Springfield," and that their goal has always been to make sure "Connecticut jobs don't migrate over the border to Massachusetts."
MGM is now suing Connecticut. They said the process is discriminatory because the tribes have been given exclusive rights to build a casino on non-tribal land.
"We are already going forward with a process with the tribes --- there really hasn't been a lot of presence here at the Capitol from MGM. They are talking about what they would like to do which is news to me," said State Senator Bob Duff.
MGM Executive and Vice President for Global Government and Industry Affairs Alan Feldman said southwest Connecticut provides a greater chance to maximize the benefits of a third casino.
"We knew all along the real opportunity in the state was in the southwest part of the state facing New York," Feldman said. "Connecticut is an interesting place because we don't think the market is fully saturated in terms of opportunity for commercial casinos."
Feldman said the study shows the importance of the state conducting its own independent analysis.
Not all lawmakers have been on board with a third casino, and they worry about the social cost.
"It really opens up some real constitutional concerns and we have not addressed that, and the implications of that," said State Senator Tony Hwang.
There was talk years ago about building a casino in Bridgeport. Another issue is whether or not people who live in Fairfield County would want a casino.
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