MGM vs Connecticut - Let the Games Begin
August 26, 2019
The state of Connecticut has long had a strong affiliation with the tribal gambling industry within the state's boundaries. That relationship is on full display with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes’ Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos, which are huge moneymakers for the state's tax coffers. It shouldn't come as any surprise the Connecticut state legislators are being protective of this revenue stream.
About a year ago, the MGM organization opened its MGM Springfield casino in bordering Massachusetts with 2,550 slots, 120 table games, and a 20-plus table poker room. With revenues at Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods dropping over the last year, the MGM is being blamed for drawing away customers that have traditionally been crossing state lines to enjoy a little gambling in Connecticut.
As so, the battle has begun. Before MGM Springfield even opened, both the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes had submitted their own plans own plan to compete with the new MGM casino with a new non-tribal casino located in Connecticut just across the border from Springfield. The proposed new casino is to be a jointly-owned $300 million satellite casino in East Windsor, Connecticut.
In the meantime, the MGM submitted plans for its own casino project plan to the state legislature in Connecticut. While the submission made it as far as a house committee, it was left to there to die. The proposed $675 million Bridgeport, CT. casino resort plan included 300 luxury room, a 700-seat theater, a casino with 2,000 slot machines and 160 table games, plus assorted amenities that would have included retail stores and restaurants.
In response to what the Connecticut legislature felt was an attempt to subvert the state's relationship with the tribes, the legislature has sense offered the tribes land to build even more casino facilities along the Massachusetts border. The tensions between these two warring factions figure to continuing escalating over the next few months.
Will This Be Standard Warfare Throughout the States?
With the proliferation of land-based and online gambling throughout the US, there's an expectation that more territorial battles are surely going to erupt between bordering states.
We have seen some evidence of this between New Jersey and New York aa the latter begins its march towards non-tribal land-based casino and sports gambling in the coming months. It's also possible Iowa's recent approval of sports gambling will start a war with neighboring states that have yet to address such legislation.
While all of this is taking place, we know this much for sure. Growing pains are sure to be a part of the nation's new attitude towards gambling.