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Legislature Holds Hearing On Casino Bill

Gene J. Puskar

The state delegation for Bridgeport, Conn., is coming in support of the bill that could make the MGM casino a reality. They showed up at the Public Safety Committee hearing on the matter on Thursday.

The bill would take away state authorization for a third tribal casino in East Windsor, and open up bidding for new proposals.

MGM Resorts proposed a $675 million casino in Bridgeport that it says will create 7,000 jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars for the state and local communities. Passing the bill would allow them to develop the casino.

Democrat State Senator Ed Gomes says he is not worried about this taking away business from the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos. He’s more concerned for job prospects for his constituents.

“But it’s Bridgeport’s time. And if we have to fight for it, and somebody else thinks that it is cutting off somebody else’s revenue, we need to worry about ours. We’re suffering down here.”

Republican State Senator Tony Hwang says that supporting the bill would lead to unfortunate economic and social consequences.

“That’s what we’re talking about is we as a state creating and empowering this opportunity to spread all across our land the opportunity for people to develop an addiction.”

Members from the Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut also testified. They say what’s really needed is a study that looks at the impact of state-sanctioned gambling.

Anthony Moaton is a former fellow at WSHU.
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