March 1, 2017

Connecticut bets on third casino busting Springfield MGM’s big-money goals

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Will Connecticut's gamble on a third casino mere miles away from the planned Springfield MGM be a solid bet?

The competition for western New England gambling dollars heated up this week when the two tribes operating casinos in Connecticut announced their plan to build a third casino about 13 miles from the planned MGM casino in Springfield.

With Massachusetts inching closer to opening its first full-fledged casino, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes — working together as MMCT Venture — selected East Windsor as the site of their proposed casino. East Windsor is about six miles from the Massachusetts state line and abuts Interstate 91, which leads directly to Springfield.

“[Monday]’s announcement is a critical step towards our goal of saving Connecticut jobs and revenue,” Mohegan Tribe Chairman Kevin Brown said in a statement.

In downtown Springfield, MGM Resorts is building a $950 million resort casino that is expected to be the first full casino in Massachusetts when it opens its doors in September 2018. The Massachusetts law legalizing casinos was passed in November 2011.

Massachusetts is hoping to draw gamblers from Connecticut’s Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun, and the tribes have pitched the third casino as a way to blunt the impact of Massachusetts’ fledgling legal gambling industry.

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