Developer Disappointed in CT Casino Site Developments

by Kyle Miller

A developer who was aggressively pursuing the Native American tribes seeking to find a location for a third Connecticut casino speaks out about not being chosen.

It’s never fun to be pursuing something only to see your dreams dashed. Silver Lane Partners LLC along with Anthony Ravosa was working hard to try and convince the two Native American Tribes seeking a location for a Connecticut casino to choose his location only to not be picked. After an aggressive approach to being the site chosen, Ravosa is now speaking out, giving several reasons why his location in East Hartford should be chosen rather than the remaining sites that are located in Windsor Locks and East Windsor.

Pick Me! Pick Me!

Tony RavosaRavosa spoke out during a press conference in Hartford after it was revealed that his location was not going to be used for the proposed casino. In his comments, Ravosa pointed out that as many as 283,000 vehicles pass by his site on a daily basis as the area is located in a heavily trafficked interchange. The location is 12 to 15 miles closer to the population hubs of the state north of Hartford which will logically yield more frequency in trips to the venue. Ravosa went on to state that he had envisioned a hotel and other development for commercial buildings that would have been unmatched.

The developer has no plans to give up efforts to develop on his site and can see further ahead than one location. Ravosa stated that the development of a third casino should be a building block and a push that will see other ancillary economic development initiatives created and not merely be an islands by itself.

Sorry, We Don’t Pick You

Last week, the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot announced that they had eliminated the East Hartford location from their considerations for a casino site. The tribes of Connecticut also eliminated South Windsor and Hartford. Even if the tribe chooses a location, the Connecticut General Assembly will have the final say as to if the casino will be approved. The tribes will be operating the casino even though the venue would be located on property that is considered commercial and not located on tribal lands.

Andrew Doba had the role of spokesman for the two tribes who commented on the claims by Ravosa, stating that the developer is bitter because he will not be receiving a financial windfall from the project. Doba stated that with all due respect, the developer believes that East Hartford is the best site because he has the option on the land and it would be good for him personally if the location were selected. The tribes goal for the project is to protect jobs as well as revenue for the state.

MGM Not In Favor

On top of the criticism by Ravosa, the tribes have also had to deal with MGM Resorts. The competitor casino company is not happy with the process that the tribes are taking to find a location. MGM says that the tribes are being allowed to function in secret and only reveal details when they choose to.

Ravosa has said he is in agreement with the argument by MGM and has urged lawmakers to intervene. However, his comments on not being chosen combined with his siding with MGM only makes the developer seem like a sore loser.

It will be interesting to see which site the tribes finally choose and if plans will be approved for the third casino in the state. It will most likely be some time before a final decision is made on the project.