MGM announces plans for new casino in Bridgeport

BRIDGEPORT --  MGM Resorts, which is building a casino in Springfield, would like nothing more than to convince the Connecticut legislature not to build another casino in nearby East Windsor.

Monday morning they rolled out a plan that would include $675 million in private money to build a waterfront resort casino in Bridgeport, which they say is far from a roll of the dice.

"We're looking to make the Connecticut budget whole starting with a $50 million check and then having a market ready tax rate that makes sure that there isn't a loss of revenue, but that we are increasing revenue," said Uri Clinton, Sr VP with MGM Resorts.

But, the Connecticut legislature would have to approve this deal, which would cancel one presently in place with the state's two tribal casinos.

"In the current biennium budget, under negotiation and discussion, (an MGM deal) would cause a shortfall of half billion dollars," said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.

But, MGM disputes this.

They claim revenue from the two casinos has plummeted 37 percent over the last 10 years, from $430 million  in 2007 to $270 million in 2017. And, their Bridgeport deal, they say, would bring $300 million in new annual tax revenue.

"The idea of being able to bring thousands of jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars in investment to a city where I was born that needs this so desperately is very rewarding for me," said Jim Murren, President and CEO of MGM Resorts.

And, New Haven, where one job center has 450 people waiting for work, would become home to the casino's workforce and development training center.

"And, to have an opportunity to be trained for real jobs that exist here, just 20 minutes away, would be phenomenal for those people," said Mayor Toni N. Harp (D-New Haven).

The two tribal casinos claim that, if their joint venture casino in East Windsor is not built, 9,000 Connecticut residents are going to lose their jobs.

MGM officials say, if they are given the go-ahead, it would take two and a half years to complete the project on 24 acres of land at Steelepointe Harbor. Read more about the proposal here.