Bridgeport lawmakers say not enough time to pass casino bill

(MGM Resorts)

A new world-class resort casino may be in the works for Bridgeport.

MGM Resorts International announced plans on Monday for the development of MGM Bridgeport, which will be built at Steelpointe Harbor in Bridgeport.

Representatives from the company said the project would bring in 7,000 jobs, $50 million in fees paid to the state, $8 million for Bridgeport and $4.5 million to surrounding communities.

They said it would also generate more than $600 million in private investment and $430 million in new labor income.

James Murren, MGM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said the casino could be a major economic force.

“This project can help to turn the economic tide of this state," Murren said. "We just need the political commitment to make it happen.”

Right now, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, owners of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, have exclusive rights when it comes to developing gambling sites in Connecticut.

Murren said the new MGM casino would tap into the New York City market of 8.5 million people.

"Right now for CT its about jobs and its money to balance the state budget, lets look at it as an opportunity, lets make it happen," said Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim.

The casino itself would boast 2,000 slot machines, 160 table games, a 700 seat theater, a 300 room hotel and retail and dining options.

This comes after the state approved a tribal casino in East Windsor. Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the measure back in June.

The Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes joined together to build there, which will become the state's third casino.

They said it was to keep jobs in the state and compete with an MGM resort just across the state border in Springfield, MA.

They released a statement about the Bridgeport endeavor.

"The idea that MGM is having a 'groundbreaking' for a project that hasn't come close to receiving legislative approval continues a pattern of dishonesty that we saw time and again during the legislative session," said Andrew Doba, spokesperson for the MMCT venture. "Simply put, authorization of this facility would violate the existing compacts between the two tribes and the state which would immediately end the slot payments that currently sends the state hundreds of million a year in much need revenue. Our state's elected officials saw through their dishonesty last session, and we expect them to see this latest fib for exactly what it is - another bought and paid for piece of misinformation."

A spokesperson for the Governor's office says they will review the proposal when they get it, but they point out that under current law, gaming is not currently authorized in Bridgeport.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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