Bridgeport, Connecticut is a town that could potentially become the next big casino place, but that will not happen in the near future, according to the Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont. Lamont stated that he was supportive of a plan to build casinos which would be owned by two Native American tribes, but he added that the legislation that would enable the casinos to be built would not be ready in 2019. In other words, the tribes will have to wait for a year in order to see how things would turn out for them and their casino-related plans.
The Governor was taking part in the Connecticut Conference on Tourism, and before this event had started, he was cornered by a group of journalists who wanted to find out his opinion on the subject. The entire event was actually sponsored by two casino resorts that already exist in Connecticut – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Coincidence or not?
Lamont stated for a report published at the Connecticut Mirror that he and his team were trying to ‘get something done.’ However, he added that they were pretty much in race with time and that there was no way to do it ‘in this session.’ Both the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes are holding their hopes high when it comes to building a satellite casino that would probably be the main competition to the MGM Springfield which is an integrated resort that was built close to the border that separates Connecticut and Massachusetts.
Although the Governor refused to give more details about the potential collaboration, he addressed the issue later at his speech, claiming that the state of Connecticut had had a very ‘strong bond and contract’ which had lasted for ‘over a generation.’ He added that he would do everything in his power not to do any harm to that contract, and make it ‘stay intact.’ Finally, Lamont stated that the state and the tribes were ‘working together going forward.’
The lawmakers of Connecticut have already given two thumbs up to a bill that would enable the construction of the casino facility, which would be called Tribal Winds. However, there was a problem with MGM and that seems like a very big obstacle at the moment. MGM actually went on to sue the state of Connecticut, as they claimed that the state authorized commercial gambling illegally by enabling casinos to be built in an area which is not controlled by the tribes.
At the moment, there is a certain stalemate which includes not only the tribes but also MGM, the state of Connecticut and the Department of the Interior. All of these sides have to get involved in this issue in order to solve it as soon as possible. Therefore, when talking about the inability to proceed with the plan in 2019, the Governor of Connecticut actually has the situation mentioned above in mind.
In other words, there will be no gambling expansion that will take place in Connecticut in 2019, and even sports betting expansions are not considered. Lamont expressed his wishes to proceed with the plan as soon as possible, stating that he wanted to apply the global solution and get out of the limbo that they are all currently stuck in. He added that he would love to make a deal with the chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe. One of the other issues that are blocking the further development of casino gambling and sports betting in this state is that the tribes have the complete control over gambling and would likely push for complete control over sports betting as well.