MGM Resorts recently announced that it is willing to invest $675 million to develop a third casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut. MGM Resorts Chairman and CEO James Murren who is a native of Bridgeport said that this waterfront proposal would include developing an entertainment complex along with a casino that would also bring in thousands of visitors from New York.
MGM Resorts Ready To Embrace Connecticut
Connecticut legislators will have an interesting decision to make as the state of Connecticut has been in a legal tussle with MGM Resorts over a proposed third satellite casino that the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes were expected to develop in East Windsor. The decision to allow the tribes to develop a third casino was made so that Connecticut could keep gambling revenue within the state.
MGM Resorts is in the process of developing a $950 million MGM Springfield facility in neighboring Massachusetts and the casino was expected to bring in thousands of gamblers from Connecticut. Connecticut legislators approved the third satellite casino and finalized on East Windsor as it was in close proximity to MGM Springfield and would help keep Connecticut’s gamblers from crossing the border and heading on over to MGM Springfield.
The state of Connecticut would have to reverse its decision and cancel the East Windsor project to allow MGM to develop its Bridgeport complex. Legislators will also have to pass new laws so that a third casino license can be issued to MGM. The Mayor of Bridgeport Joseph Ganim is in favor of the MGM Bridgeport project as it will bring enormous benefits to the city. MGM has also chosen a great time to float its proposal as Connecticut needs an economic boost and the new casino facility will provide the state millions in revenue.
Connecticut Will Benefit From MGM Bridgeport
Connecticut is going through an economic slump at the moment as some of the biggest companies in the state have decided to pull out. General Electric, Alexion – the pharmaceutical giant and Aetna have all decided to exit the state and as a result thousands of workers will be made redundant. MGM Resorts claims that it will create a total of 7,000 jobs (5,000 construction jobs and 2 permanent) jobs should it be given approval to develop its Bridgeport project.
The MGM Bridgeport facility will have a total of 2,000 slot machines and 160 table games, a 300 room hotel and a theatre that can seat up to 700 along with luxury retail outlets and numerous restaurants. MGM Resorts had considered developing a casino resort in Bridgeport in the early 90s but things did not fall in to place back then.
MGM Resorts made a presentation on the Bridgeport proposal and said that Connecticut stands to gain $50 million in licensing fees during the current fiscal. Bridgeport would receive $8 million in annual revenue and an additional $4.5 million will be donated to the surrounding communities to help with development. MGM also proposed to set up a training and development program to train locals and prepare them for new employment opportunities.
MGM started working on the Bridgeport proposal from June 2017 and estimates that it will take another 12 months for construction to begin. If everything goes as per plan, the casino will open to the public in 2021. MGM Resorts legal counsel and senior vice president Uri Clinton highlighted the fact that the state was having budget issues and Bridgeport was struggling to get investors to set up businesses and create jobs. Clinton believes that this multi-million dollar project will address all those concerns and benefit Bridgeport and Connecticut at the same time.
Tribes Call It A Pipe Dream
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes who have an exclusive agreement to operate casinos in the state dismissed the MGM proposal and called it a pipe dream. The tribal casino operators donate millions of dollars in revenue to Connecticut each year and say that if Connecticut decided to violate the state’s compact agreement, they would immediately stop making these payments.
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy played it safe and did not pick sides. The Governor’s office stated that they would wait for MGM to send in an official proposal and then review the same before making any decision on the matter.

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