"I think our focus should be on saving those jobs in Eastern Connecticut and allowing two tribes that have been good partners as along as the town that it's going to be agree with it", Rep. Themis Klarides said during an interview Monday.
The two Indian tribes would run the East Windsor casino.
That proposal would theoretically make it easier for a Senate bill to clear the House of Representatives that allows Connecticut's two federally recognized tribal nations to open a casino in East Windsor to compete with the MGM Resorts casino opening in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Connecticut house and senate has now approved a casino bill, and now the bill will move along onto the governor's desk. Under said amendment, the number of off-track betting licenses will be increased to 24 from 18.
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The House gave final passage to the tribal exclusivity bill on a 103-46 vote. The two tribes have contributed around $7 billion to Connecticut's coffers over the past 25 years and are expected to pay the state more than $220 million in 2017.
"We will continue to vigorously advocate in the courts as we seek to protect the constitutional rights of any company hoping to do business in CT", said Uri Clinton, senior vice president and legal counsel for MGM. He predicted the facility could be bogged down by legal challenges for years. As reported by The Connecticut Mirror, the bill would relax the state's restrictions on MMA fights that have made it unfeasible for promoters to stage such matches in the state.
"Our state has a longstanding partnership and compact with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribal nations who employ thousands of CT residents in their casinos". The state had required a greater level of health coverage for MMA than for boxing, as well as a gross-receipts tax that the bill repeals.
While Malloy has not advocated for a third casino in CT, he has said he preferred the tribal proposal over another bill that would have opened up the process to other casino developers.
Earlier in the week, lawmakers discussed the possibility of allowing additional slot machines in OTB facilities in Bridgeport, New Haven and Waterbury, and a so-called boutique casino for high-rollers in Hartford.