East Windsor Signs Development Agreement for New Casino

by Jim Hall

Connecticut comes even closer to deciding on a third location for new gaming venue.

The state of Connecticut is currently in the process of licensing a third casino. Two tribal groups, the Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe both already operate a casino each in the state. The two have now been working together to be the owners and operators of a third gaming venue for Connecticut. The two casinos already in operation are located on tribal lands and this new project would be one that would not be located on a reservation. Because of this, there has been some controversy involving the casino plans. Several areas have been under consideration for the new venue with the town of East Windsor recently signing a development agreement to be the potential host of the new casino.

Special Meeting This Past Weekend

East Windsor ConnecticutThis past week, the town of East Windsor saw a special meeting held with the town’s board of selectmen. The members of the board showed their support of the development and want to see the casino located in East Windsor. The area of East Windsor is one of two currently being considered for the home of the third gaming venue.

The actual construction of the third casino was approved two years ago as the state wants to try and fight the competition of other gaming venues that are located in neighboring states. MGM Resorts International is working on the MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts, which cost $950 million to create. New York is also home to three new casinos so there is additional competition in that region.

MMCT Venture

The third casino would be an MMCT Venture business, the company created by the two tribal groups. MMCT would be developing as well as operating the new casino project. With the agreement signed on Saturday, the East Windsor area is able to pull ahead as the top consideration for a new gambling venue. The other competitor is Windsor Locks, who would also like to be considered as the location for the casino.

Representatives from MMCT Venture have been working on a similar agreement with officials of Windsor Locks but no information has been provided as to if an agreement has been reached between the two. The two tribes have taken quite some time in trying to decide on the location for their new gaming venue. Many outside companies felt the process has been too drawn out and that others should have the opportunity to develop a third casino in the state. However, lawmakers seem determined to let MMCT Venture be the operator of the new gaming venue.

If East Windsor were to be chosen as the location for the new casino, it would be placed on the site of a former Showcase Cinemas. The casino would be 200,000 square feet in size and have a gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines and as many as 150 table games. The venue would also include retail space, restaurants and additional entertainment.

Those opposed to the third casino plans continue their arguments that the new gaming venue would have a negative impact socially as well as economically. There are also concerns about traffic depending on where the casino would be located. To try and combat the opposition, officials of both tribes along with fellow proponents have tried to garner support for the project by talking about the new jobs that will be created as well as the gambling revenues that will be created.

Such revenues are currently going to other states where casinos are more readily available. The tribal groups want everyone to see how they can bring back revenues by offering another quality gaming venue in the state.