Developer discusses moving forward after tribes eliminate East H - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Developer discusses moving forward after tribes eliminate East Hartford casino site

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The old Showcase Cinemas location in East Hartford has been considered for the state's third casino. (WFSB file photo) The old Showcase Cinemas location in East Hartford has been considered for the state's third casino. (WFSB file photo)
EAST HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The locations for Connecticut’s third casino have dwindled down to two.

East Hartford was eliminated from contention on Friday, and the man behind the proposal to turn the old Showcase Cinemas into the next gaming destination is firing back.

He's slamming the process for being too secretive and says he's taking his fight to the General Assembly, but others say he's just mad he lost.

The news came down on Friday that the third casino in the state would not be in Hartford, South Windsor or in East Hartford.

After doing an economic analysis, the Mohegan and Mashantucket tribes joint venture decided to move on, staying a little further north.

They'll now choose between Bradley International Airport and areas around the Showcase Cinemas off I-91 in East Windsor.

While all players in consideration knew the two tribes would have the final say, developer Anthony Ravosa is not happy his site wasn't chosen. 

He wants to bring casino to East Hartford.

“We have the most superior location when it comes to interstate highway frontage and visibility, I’ll be as bold as to call it unmatched,” Ravosa said.

He said 131,000 vehicles pass through the spot each day; 36,000 more than what’s seen on I-91 north, and 75,000 more than what goes through the Route 20 Bradley connector.

In a press conference on Tuesday, he showed photos of what his casino would have looked like, and he’s demanding a review.

“Ultimately, we're going to take our case to the General Assembly, and to the public would be to return real revenue to the state happens to be in East Hartford,” Ravosa said.

He suggests the two tribes are going with the two locations furthest north because they don't want to leech from their current locations in southeastern CT. 

“Their ill-placed feeling that somehow traveling 10 to 12 miles up I-91 would somehow be less impactful to them,” Ravosa said.

The tribes dispute that, saying detailed studies showed the two remaining locations would preserve more jobs and bring more money in for the state, while adding:

"Mr. Ravosa believes East Hartford is the best site because he has the option on the land and it would have been good for him personally if East Hartford was selected."

Ravosa said he is promising he won't leave quietly.

“It's incumbent on the General Assembly to do its job to look at all the proposals that went in and make their own judgement call,” Ravosa said.

The General Assembly will technically have the final say, but they'll only be presented one option.

It's the location the tribes choose. That location, wherever it may be, will need to be approved by its town before it goes to the General Assembly, so in order for Ravosa or any other town to win, the General Assembly would in essence, need to defy the wants of a town. 

The third casino would be built to compete with a casino being built across the border in Springfield, MA.

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