The General Assembly’s Public Safety and Security Committee has voted in favor of moving forward with a bill that would allow competitive bidding to take place over the state’s first nontribal casino in Bridgeport.
The committee voted 18-6 to bring the bill to a public hearing over the next few weeks. The bill is still in the process of being written.
At issue is whether the legislature should consider opening Connecticut to commercial casinos beyond the one the state has already approved. That would allow the tribal casino owners behind Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to jointly develop a facility in East Windsor to compete with an MGM Resorts International casino in Springfield, Massachusetts. That casino is expected to open later this year.
MGM, which has proposed a $675 million waterfront casino for Bridgeport, has been lobbying for open competition for about a year, essentially arguing that such a process would prove the value of its own proposal. The company has issued public statements maintaining that its site in Bridgeport Harbor, announced last September, will prove superior to any other proposals.
Competitive bidding would invite proposals from all interested casino operators, including the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes.