East Windsor is Chosen By MMCT for CT Casino

In keeping with today’s post, NETG correspondent Bert reported breaking news after noon time concerning the MMCT, the joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegan tribes. The tribes announced that they have chosen the vacant Showcase Cinemas lot in East Windsor as the location for Connecticut’s third casino.

Cinema in East Windsor for proposed casino.

Cinema in East Windsor for proposed casino.

Right off Route I-91 and only a few minutes from the Massachusetts line, East Windsor was chosen over the Windsor Locks location closer to Bradley International Airport.

The proposal includes:

  • space as large as 300,000 square feet (Twin River Casino is about 300,000 sq. ft.)
  • and with 2,000 slot machines (1.5 more slots than Plainridge Park)
  • and 150 game tables (less than half of the amount in either Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun).
  • A 2,500-space parking garage would be relocated just to the east of the abandoned Showcase building, in addition to a 1,200-space garage nearby.

Last September, the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans — the tribal operators of the state’s two casinos forming MMCT — reopened the search for proposals for a Hartford-area gambling attraction to compete with a $950 million casino and entertainment complex under construction in nearby Springfield.  Jobs and state revenue were said to be the two most important factors in adding a third casino, combating expected losses to MGM Springfield which is well on their way to completing their “urban casino.”

More on this in the coming week.


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!


Interim Airport Casino Shows CT Desperation

southern New England

Location, Location, Location

MGM Springfield has broken ground.  The process to turn 16 acres of the North End of Springfield into a multi-use plan that includes an exciting and lively residential, retail, dining, and entertainment district.

Demolition of Zanetti School is a sign of MGM Springfield Start.

Demolition of Zanetti School is a sign of MGM Springfield Start.

Connecticut’s response has been to introduce a third casino near the northern border to save jobs and revenue from escaping to Springfield. It will be a daunting task to compete with MGM.

For more info, try reading these previous posts:

Casino at Bradley Airport is Absurd

Connecticut Casino Plans Taking Shape

The Sheraton at Bradley International Airport

The Sheraton at Bradley International Airport

Now, the latest is that Kevin Dillon, the executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, said Wednesday that space at the Sheraton Hartford Hotel at the airport could be turned into an “interim casino” while a permanent gaming venue is built at Bradley.  Interim casino means an urgent concern.

While the third casino, a joint venture between the two Connecticut tribes that own the two Mega-Casino complexes in the South-Eastern portion of the state, seems to raise the ante of competition, a quick-fix is not the solution.  Windsor Locks and three other municipalities — East Windsor, East Hartford and Hartford — have proposed locations for a satellite casino that would be jointly run by Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.

But I’ve said once and I’ll say it again.  A casino at Bradley International Airport is not the place for the third casino.  Why?  I’ll tell you why: Continue reading