BRIDGEPORT, CT — MGM Resorts International, which was unsuccessful earlier this year convincing the General Assembly to open up the bidding process for a third casino, announced plans Monday to build a casino in Bridgeport.
MGM would partner with RCI Group to build the project in Bridgeport’s Steelpointe Harbor area. MGM Bridgeport would have 2,000 slot machines, 160 table games, a 700-seat theater, and a 300-room hotel.
The proposal may not go very far since Connecticut’s two federally recognized Indian tribes still have the exclusive right to gaming in the state. The General Assembly would have to approve any new gaming facility.
MGM claims in its press release that tribal payments to the state have declined over the past decade and MGM would be able to bring in the much needed additional revenue.
The General Assembly would have to create a structure to allow MGM to make a payment to the state. They declined to approve such a payment structure earlier this year.
Instead of opening up the bidding process for a third casino earlier this year, Connecticut lawmakers allowed the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nation to form a joint business venture to build a casino in East Windsor. The casino would be used to head off traffic to MGM’s $950 million casino and entertainment complex in Springfield that’s scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.
MGM’s agreement to build the casino in Springfield prohibits it from building another facility within a 50 mile radius of the Springfield location.
MGM fought the state’s decision in court to allow the Mashantuckets and the Mohegans expand beyond their reservations.
A spokesman for MMCT the joint tribal venture said Connecticut’s elected officials will see through MGM’s “dishonesty” about its Bridgeport proposal.
“The idea that MGM is having a “groundbreaking” for a project that hasn’t come close to receiving legislative approval continues a pattern of dishonesty that we saw time and again during the legislative session,” Andrew Doba, a spokesman for MMCT the joint tribal venture, said. “Simply put, authorization of this facility would violate the existing compacts between the two tribes and the state which would immediately end the slot payments that currently sends the state hundreds of million a year in much need revenue.”