MGM Casino Study of Fairfield County Raises More Questions Than Answers

Welcome To Fairfield

Welcome To Fairfield

Someone over at MGM is really doing their homework.

What seemed at first to be another distraction to the CT legislature and MMCT’s (the Foxwoods/Mohegan Sun joint venture) third casino in the Hartford, may actually be something to pursue.

MGM Resorts Logo

MGM Resorts

Recently, a study commissioned by MGM has concluded that a third Connecticut casino would be better suited for the I-95 corridor in Fairfield County, not the I-91 corridor in Hartford County that’s closer to the MGM Springfield casino site. Connor Berry of the Republic reported Oxford Economics, an independent global advisory firm, stated in the report that “Locating a casino in southwest Connecticut would generate far greater economic benefits than locating one in north central Connecticut because southwest Connecticut offers a much deeper market.”

NETime Gambling notes two big reasons for validating this study:

  • The New York City Market (including the northern New Jersey proposals) is still a large market waiting to be tapped.  Even with the additions of Resorts World and Empire City, NYC shows a longing for the “Vegas Experience” with the attendance and popularity of these casinos and also area racetracks..  It could also hinder New York Gambling traffic to Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods.  Touche’!
  • General Electric Co. announced that it will be moving its headquarters from Fairfield, Conn., to Boston, starting this summer, making “Beantown” the hometown of one of the world’s largest companies.
On the I-95 NY/CT border.  Should it "Fairfield County, Home of CT's Newest Casino?"

On the I-95 NY/CT border. Should it “Fairfield County, Home of CT’s Newest Casino?”

GE Headquarters in CT

GE Headquarters in CT

What will CT and towns surrounding Fairfield lose?

  1. Housing market has already seen some softening in recent months.
  2. The region will lose the millions of dollars in taxable income earned by those seasoned, experienced workers.
  3. Human resources services to small businesses in Fairfield County associated with GE will lose $14 billion a year to Connecticut suppliers.
  4. Community involvement. Last year GE gave some $10 million in charitable contributions in Connecticut, and its workers — who sit on hundreds of boards throughout the state — gave 49,000 volunteer hours.
  5. Jobs. GE employs 800 workers at its headquarters and about 5,000 elsewhere in Connecticut.

So, the MGM proposal for a casino in Fairfield might help fill that void and hurt the CT casinos concerning out-of-state patrons from New York.

Jim Murren and MGM Resorts

Jim Murren & MGM Resorts

This Study actually proposes more questions than answers:

  • Will MGM law suit again CT concerning fair trade have legs enough to open the door to independent gaming outside of the tribal casinos?
  • Will CT & MMCT look at adding a 4th casino proposal in Fairfield?
  • Is MGM interested in both Hartford area & Springfield area Casinos in CT?
  • Could CT handle two casinos, never mind one – no matter who is running them?
  • If MGM’s law suit succeeds, could we see Caesar’s, Sands, Penn National, and other industry companies vie for either Hartford or Fairfield sites? (Remember, Bridgeport was once considered for a casino by The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation of CT)

The next move – like a well-thought-out chess match – is now in the hands of CT. Preparations for the MGM law suit are monumental.  If the law suit fails, Connecticut is back at square one for it’s third casino.  Otherwise, who knows what could break loose!



Leave a Reply