Just three towns are still in the running to host Connecticut’s potential third casino. The two tribes partnering on the development announced Wednesday that East Windsor’s bid has been unsuccessful.
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes said one potential site in East Windsor was removed by the developer, while the others were not submitted by the property owners. That leaves Hartford, East Hartford and Windsor Locks still under consideration.
"We appreciate East Windsor’s willingness to work with us,” Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said in a statement. “We’ve said from the beginning that we want to do right by each of the towns who have expressed interest in being a partner with us... The site, although a solid location for a variety of economic development projects, was not the right fit for the project we are planning."
The tribes say staff from the partnership will meet with town officials in the three remaining municipalities to discuss each proposal. The tribal chairmen will also begin meetings with local residents and businesses.
Hartford’s Mayor, Luke Bronin, who was elected after the town expressed interest in the project, says he’ll proceed with caution.
"I've been reluctant to chase after a casino," he told WNPR. "I don't see a casino as the silver bullet for Hartford's development challenges. But I've heard from a lot of residents who see the potential for jobs, particularly jobs that will help serve some of our neighborhoods that have high unemployment. I'm certainly interested in hearing what the casino would bring to the City of Hartford, and I'm at least willing to at least have that conversation."
The partnership must submit the final proposal to the legislature for approval before it can go ahead. The casino is a response to MGM’s planned development in Springfield.