MGM plans to bring $675 million waterfront casino to Bridgeport, Connecticut

  • MGM venture would need backing of state legislation to proceed
  • Tribal compacts impact by commercial casino plans could be far-reaching

MGM Resorts is aiming to bring a $675 million waterfront casino to Bridgeport, Connecticut, reports the Hartford Courant, despite state laws that currently prevent non-tribal casino operations.

The company will seek backing from lawmakers, who will need to introduce new legislation to allow the casino to go ahead.

The hotel and casino resort project would bring an additional 2,000 slot games and over 150 table games to the city, as well as increasing the room occupancy capacity by 300.

MGM’s CEO James Murren told a press conference that 7,000 jobs will be created by the new casino, and said that the state could earn $50 million per year in licensing fees alone.

Hometown venture for MGM CEO

MGM’s James Murren is a native of Bridgeport who graduated from Trinity College, it is fitting that the company is looking to put down roots in the homeland he knows best.

However, Connecticut laws currently prohibit commercial casino gaming, so any new venue would require additional legislation to proceed.

Introducing commercial gaming to Connecticut is a tricky political situation, as tribal compacts currently provide one quarter of all slots revenue to the state in taxes – in return for exclusivity in the market.

If MGM were to enter that market with a new casino, the door would be open for other competitors as well – and that might raise questions for tribal groups paying exclusivity tax to the state.

Casinos battle for territorial rights

MGM’s plans for Connecticut expansion, coupled with their upcoming Springfield, Massachusetts venture, have raised concerns among the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes.

The MGM Springfield could attract Connecticut gamblers over the Northern border and away from tribal casinos.

Both tribes have responded by securing build approval in East Windsor, to try and keep native players within state lines – but a Bridgeport MGM property would undermine this effort to secure the tribes’ joint market.

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