Tuesday night in a 7 to 1 vote, the town council authorized the mayor to submit a proposal which could result in a casino being built in town.
The plan is to turn the former Showcase Cinemas building on Silver Lane into a destination.
Current plans call for a 134,000 square foot building housing up to 2000 slot machines -- gaming tables -- as well as restaurants and a nightclub.
By building a casino in the northern part of the state, developers argue people, money, and tax dollars will stay in Connecticut.
“It's a signal that yes we're interested and why are we interested? Well I think there is potential in this to be of benefit to the Town of East Hartford,” said Rich Kehoe, East Hartford Town Council Chairman.
But some residents said the casinos won’t help.
The vote is only one step in a long list of approvals and challenges that must be addressed before anything is built -- but developers are hoping to have something in place before fall of 2018.