New York: House Oks bill to expand off-track betting

The Senate has passed a bill approving a casino in East Windsor, to be developed by the tribal partnership of the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots. The tribes, which operate competing casinos in eastern CT, joined forces and argued that without head-to-head competition, MGM's western MA casino would cost CT thousands of jobs and tens of millions in tax revenue.

"We are looking at a slot presence in the other cities with a possible boutique set up in Hartford", he said.

The Springfield MGM casino is slated to open next year. As reported by The Connecticut Mirror, the bill would relax the state's restrictions on MMA fights that have made it unfeasible for promoters to stage such matches in the state. The state had required a greater level of health coverage for MMA than for boxing, as well as a gross-receipts tax that the bill repeals.

MGM committed to create 3,000 jobs to operate the resort casino in Springfield.

Aresimowicz told a news conference Monday he believes that bill could also be passed by the House, but only alongside additional legislation that would also see more gaming in Waterbury, Bridgeport, and Hartford. MGM's new $950m casino is set to open in 2018 and is expected to drive away CT gamblers from their state's tribal casinos. Such a move would be in anticipation of the federal government possibly allowing sports betting.

If a vote count by House leaders is correct, the biggest remaining complication could be an amendment that Rep. Chris Davis, R-Ellington, whose district includes East Windsor, was considering proposing: It would make approval of the casino contingent on a local referendum.

A third tribal casino in CT is getting closer to becoming a reality. MGM says it's an unconstitutional no bid contract. The agreement, known as the compact, guarantees the state will receive 25 percent of slot machine revenue monthly in exchange for the exclusive right to operate slots in CT. The tribes have warned that thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in slot machine revenues to the state could be at risk if the border casino was not approved.

During the almost two-hour debate that started at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, there was an acknowledgement that no matter what happens the state of CT will end up in court because it gave the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations exclusivity over gaming at a facility off tribal land.

The tribes went first, then MGM.

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