Anti-gambling advocates are making a last ditch attempt to block a proposal that will pave the way for the construction of a third tribal casino in Connecticut.
The Boston Herald reported that members of the Coalition Against Casino Expansion in Connecticut is organizing a meeting at East Windsor High School to discuss the “social and economic costs” of casinos.
Former Republican U.S. Rep. Robert Steele, author of The Curse: Big-Time Gambling’s Seduction of A Small New England Town, is expected to give a presentation during the meeting that will come ahead of a Thursday hearing on a casino expansion bill.
Connecticut state lawmakers are set to decide whether or not the state will let Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes open a proposed joint venture casino.
But analysts find it ironic that MGM Springfield casino, which is located just across the state line, will be the true beneficiary of a confab of anti-casino activists.
The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, which runs the tribal gaming company MMCT, want to build a casino in East Windsor in order to protect the already crippled Connecticut industry.
“MGM will do whatever they can to generate whatever shareholder revenue they can, even if it means crippling a celebrated Connecticut industry,” Mashantucket Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler said. “They would love to see us give up instead of fighting back. But we’re not going to do that.”
MMCT announced that it had chosen East Windsor to host the state’s third casino, 17 months after it first solicited development proposals.
The deal guarantees a $3 million initial payment from MMCT and at least $3 million per year in additional revenue. MMCT estimates the project would generate about $5.5 million per year in addition to the $3 million set payment.
Illinois lawmakers want six new casinos.
Over in Illinois, legislators are pushing for six new casinos despite fears of casino cannibalism.
Fox Illinois reported that the state Senate has approved a proposal to authorize six new casinos after it comes back in play in the Illinois General Assembly.
Under the proposal, five casinos will be spread around the state while Chicago will host a casino for the first time.