A new casino may be coming to northern Connecticut

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UNCASVILLE — Connecticut is taking a close look at its casino and lawmakers want to salvage the state’s odds at winning in the casino game.

The Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequots–with exclusive casino-gambling rights in Connecticut– have been meeting with state lawmakers to craft a bill to authorize new gambling halls.

State Rep. Steve Dargan (D-West Haven), said a measure to expand gambling in the state is expected to come before his committee, the public safety and security committee, by March 19.

Gov. Dan Malloy told reporters Thursday that legislators will take a first-look at any possible gaming expansion legislation.
Casinos are up against stiff competition from out of state. The $800 million MGM Grand casino is expected to open in Springfield in 2017.

“I acknowledge they are under a lot of pressure. Gaming is not only present in many of the states in New England and New York where their base is otherwise impacted,” Malloy said.

Chariman Brown said that competition in gambling affects the entire state of Connecticut because Mohegan Sun buys supplies and services from vendors all over Connecticut.

Mohegan Sun leaders had previously discussed the possibility of a small casino somewhere north of Hartford to include slot machines and table games. But expanded gambling doesn’t solely mean putting a location north of Hartford, Brown said. “There are multiple arteries coming out of Massachusetts or New York would be a place to intercept any sort of convince gaming,” said Brown.

The Hartford Courant is reporting the casino to its north would have 1,800 to 2,000 slot machines, maybe 50 to 75 table games, such as poker, and some limited food and beverage options. It would be a “convenience” facility, not a destination like Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.

The Northeastern Casino Gambling Research Project released an report Wednesday on the regional gambling industry, which shows Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods have seen revenue and employment shrink 35 percent since a peak in 2006.

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