Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy signed a bill Tuesday afternoon to authorize the construction of the state’s third Las Vegas-style casino. The property, to be located in East Windsor, will be owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes under a joint venture company called MMCT Venture, LLC.
East Windsor is situated in north-central Connecticut, just fifteen miles south of Springfield, Massachusetts. The significance of this location is that Springfield is where MGM is building a $1 billion casino, scheduled to open in 2018.
Connecticut’s two current, well-known casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, are further south and east. MGM Springfield was almost certainly going to grab customers from those two casinos and still will before the East Windsor casino opens. For people in the northern and western parts of the state, Springfield is generally going to be a shorter haul than Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. A new, sprawling entertainment complex in East Windsor will keep many gamblers in Connecticut and therefore keep their dollars in the state.
“Over the years, our state has maintained a longstanding partnership and compact with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations, who employ thousands of Connecticut residents at their casinos,” Governor Malloy said in a press release. “Make no mistake about it – the legislation I signed today is about jobs for the residents of Connecticut, and securing those jobs in our state.”
“With a stroke of the pen, we are that much closer to turning our proposal for an entertainment and gaming facility in East Windsor into reality,” added Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman Kevin Brown. “We’re excited about the future, and tremendously thankful for the leadership of the Governor and the many legislators from both parties who rallied to protect jobs in our state that would otherwise have been lost.”
MMCT will have to pay a $1 million fee to the State of Connecticut up front. Once the games are up and running, the casino will be taxed 25 percent on gross gaming revenue from “video facsimile games,” which we would assume to be things like video poker and video slots as well as 25 percent of gross gaming revenue on all other games. From the latter, two-fifths will go to a state tourism fund and the remainder to the state’s general fund.
The company will also be required to contribute $300,000 each year to problem gambling causes. The local communities of Ellington, Enfield, South Windsor, Windsor Locks, East Hartford, and Hartford will all receive gambling-derived money from the state on an annual basis.
The bill the governor signed on Tuesday was originally introduced on March 2nd. It passed the Senate on May 24th by a 24-12 vote and then passed the House on June 7th by a 103-46 vote with two members absent.