The city of Bridgeport may finally host a casino. But a new plan to bring a casino to Fairfield County might include the two tribal nations that currently operate gaming facilities in Connecticut, and not Las Vegas gaming giant MGM Resorts International.
MGM, which has proposed a Bridgeport casino for two years, would reportedly be out – replaced by the two operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. A spokesperson representing a joint tribal venture between the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans confirmed Friday that the city and the tribes are talking about putting a casino in Bridgeport.
The Connecticut Post reported Thursday that Bridgeport’s mayor met with Connecticut lawmakers and tribal representatives to discuss a gaming deal.
“An MGM casino in Bridgeport was never going to happen because of the compact that we have with the tribes, so let’s put a plan on the table that can actually pass,” said Joe Aresimowicz, Connecticut’s speaker of the house, who is also seemingly on board with a tribal casino in Bridgeport.
A MGM representative declined to comment.
East Windsor’s first selectman isn’t worried about any potential deal that would bring a casino to Bridgeport, despite a recent report that the governor’s office may prefer a scenario that leads to tribal members moving away from an East Windsor project in favor of a Bridgeport facility.
“I think East Windsor was chosen because of the casino that's just up the street in Springfield, and that's taking jobs and revenue from Connecticut,” said Robert Maynard, East Windsor’s first selectman. “So that's a very good reason to have it in East Windsor. But Bridgeport needs a casino, and I think it could do pretty well.”
Some of the homes along Route 5 in East Windsor purchased by the MMCT (Mashantucket Mohegan Connecticut) Venture, along with the Showcase Cinema Movie theatre that was located at the future casino site, have already been demolished. The tribes have also said that the project is “shovel ready”, so construction on casino in East Windsor could begin any day now.
Andrew Doba, a spokesperson for the joint venture, said the project is moving forward, and won’t be abandoned in favor of anything happening in Bridgeport.
New England Public Radio's Alden Bourne contributed to this report.