Connecticut Casino Expansion Proposal Saved In The Nick Of Time
MGM resorts can thank Jeffrey Berger, Connecticut’s Democratic State Representative, whose efforts enabled the proposal calling for a competitive bidding process for the states first-ever casino built outside of tribal land to go through.
Last week, the Connecticut legislature met to discuss this proposal, and although the co-chairman of the General Assembly’s Public Safety Committee strongly opposed, the state’s lawmakers eventually supported it by voting 18-6 in its favor.
It Didn’t Look Promising At All
But the odds were against such a move, especially after Sen. Tim Larson and Sen. Tony Guglielmo, refused to schedule a meeting where the casino expansion bills would be discussed.
Fortunately, Berger managed to gain support from the committee members and requested the schedule a hearing on the competitive bidding proposal.
Speaking to the Hartford Courant, Berger said many in the House, both Democrats and Republicans, were very concerned about having an open, public discussion on a proposal for commercial gaming.
Division Among The Representatives
Sen. Tim Larson, who was against the public hearing, stated that operators of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, had been an important partners to Connecticut, contributing to its funds with more than $7 billion.
The committee co-chairman once again expressed his objection to the MGM Bridgeport proposal and said anybody could come in and promise the moon and the fence around it, but he simply didn’t trust it, especially since it was his district.
Others who voted against the hearing explained their decision by saying that it wasn’t the right time to talk about casino expansion due to the lack of time to hold legislative sessions.
Rep. Joe Verrengia, a long-time supporter of an open casino competition emphasized the importance of the whole issue and its potential impact on the state of Connecticut itself. Verrengia pointed out that this public hearing didn’t necessarily mean the proposition would be adopted as a law.