Senate shoots down Bridgeport casino plans but there is still hope

USA: Connecticut’s Senate has dashed MGM’s hopes to debate a legislative bill that would allow them to begin constructing a Bridgeport casino this year.

MGM Resorts International will have to wait until next year before the Senate can allow for discussions on the bill. According to senators, the state budget and other more urgent matters occupy their attention at the moment.

MGM is proposing to build the casino venture on Bridgeport’s waterfront. The project would rival the casino to be constructed by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes of East Windsor – a project approved by the state senate last year.

The Senate, in a 77-73 vote, last week after a lengthy debate struck the bill down ensuring it won’t reach the discussion stage this year.

Bridgeport Democrat Christopher Rosario said no gaming legislation has gotten out of the House chamber in 25 years, and it took herculean efforts to reach the point where the debate was rested until 2019. The legislative bill would have permitted casino operators to compete in open license bidding processes.

MGM and RCI, its project development partner, have however agreed to wait until next year to try again.

“A year ago, the bill never received a floor vote,” MGM and RCI wrote.

“This year, it passed the House. That is significant. We realize that change is hard and takes time, and we respect the delegation’s preference not to dominate debate with this issue with much to accomplish in a short time in the session’s final hours.”