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MGM Proposes $675 Million Casino In Bridgeport

On Monday, MGM Resorts announced plans for a $675 million dollar casino development in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Promoters say their goal is to bring economic development to the city and create 7,000 jobs. But opponents says it’s a long shot move to get Connecticut to agree to a non-Indian casino.

At a ceremony at the site of the proposed casino at Steele Pointe Harbor in Bridgeport, MGM CEO James Murren promised the project would not only create jobs. He said it would help Connecticut close its budget gap by generating $50 million in license fees by next year. There’d also be $8 million in annual payments to Bridgeport and $4.5 million in payments to surrounding communities. Murren was born in Bridgeport, and he says it’s time to give back.

“We want to be here in Connecticut, and we want to be here in Bridgeport. And I believe that this project could help turn the economic tide in the state. We just need the political commitment to make that happen.”

Andrew Doba, a spokesman for the Mohegan and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nations, says, “The state would ultimately be the loser if a bill were to pass that would authorize this casino.”

He says state approval of the MGM Bridgeport casino would violate the existing compact between Connecticut and the two tribes. And that would immediately halt hundreds of millions of dollars in payments from slot machine revenues to Connecticut each year.

In June Connecticut gave permission to the two tribes to build a jointly owned casino in East Windsor to rival an MGM casino being built across the border in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Doba says he believes the MGM Bridgeport announcement is a dishonest move by MGM to try and thwart the East Windsor casino.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.
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