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Sen. Duff Dismisses Bridgeport Casino As PR Stunt

Jessica Hill
Senate President Martin Looney, left, and Sen. Bob Duff, D-Norwalk, look over paperwork during a special session at the state Capitol in Hartford, Conn.

Connecticut Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff says he’s against a proposal to build an MGM Resorts casino in Bridgeport.

The Norwalk Democrat says he believes the $600 million project is a PR stunt by MGM aimed at derailing Connecticut’s third tribal-owned casino being built in East Windsor.

“I don’t think that the MGM proposal is realistic. I don’t think that it’s good for the region. And I think that it’s one that’s really not for real.”

Duff was speaking at a public policy forum at Sacred Heart University on Tuesday.

The state is supporting the East Windsor casino in a bid to rival an MGM casino that will soon open in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.

Duff says if Connecticut were to approve the MGM Bridgeport casino, it would violate the state’s existing compact with the two tribes. And that would immediately end hundreds of millions of dollars in payments to the state from the slot machine revenues at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.

MGM has said its goal is to create 7,000 jobs and bring economic development to Bridgeport. MGM is also promising to provide $50 million a year in licensing fees to the state and annual payments to Bridgeport and surrounding communities.

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.