Connecticut Lawmakers Looking At Gambling-Altering Legislation

This week in Connecticut there will be a special hearing on four gambling-related pieces of legislation by the Public Safety and Security Committee who will be debating values and merits of these bills.

Should the outcome of this public debate be positive, these legislations could radically alter gambling in this state. Among other things, it would provide a necessary legal framework for the construction of East Windsor’s Tribal Winds Casino.

A Complete Overhaul

  • Aside from East Windsor facility, proposed bills could also ensure that:
  • sports betting is legalized
  • online keno is legalized

a formation of Connecticut Gaming Commission that would watch over a bidding process for interested operators

At the present moment, only two Native American tribes – Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan – are the only entities allowed to operate gambling in Connecticut.

Both tribes would be able to open the Tribal Winds property without federal approval. It would make an amendment on previous legislation that allowed the construction of the casino in the first place…

…and although the US Department of the Interior has green lighted certain changes suggested by Mohegan, Mashantucket’s amendments are yet to be acted on, which is keeping the project in a state of hibernation.

Sports Betting Possibility Due For a Further Debate

Two out of four bills propose sports wagering…

…but only one of them contains language that would place sports betting into the hands of tribes, although this matter would be a subject of discussion between them and Governor, Ned Lamont.

Sports betting would be allowed for anyone age 21 and over, while online Keno’s age limit would be set at 18. Keno would be under the watchful eye of the Connecticut Lottery Corp.

MGM’s Interest Poses Question of Licensing

A bill proposed by Bridgeport legislative delegation seeks to establish the much-needed process of resort-casino licensing.

With New York City market in the general vicinity, MGM Resorts International officials have, on several occasions, noted they would like to build their own resort in Connecticut in order to try and rake in some of the profit from New York clientele.

As MGM already operates a casino in Springfield, their claims that a fair competitive process and not tribal exclusivity would be more profitable. This economic benefit, or rather its biggest possible impact, will be determined once the responsible committee finds the most suitable venue for this.

Tribal representatives have said that they expect MGM to ensure East Windsor casino construction moves forward, but also that they would not back down.

Source:

“Gambling bills on the table”, Eric Bedner, hartfordbusiness.com, February 25, 2019.

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