HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– Plans to build a third casino here in Connecticut are moving forward. It’s now one step closer to becoming a reality but it isn’t a done deal just yet.
The state senate voted several hours ago in favor of bringing a new casino to Connecticut. That vote was 24 to 12. And it wasn’t exactly easy. It came after more than 20 hours of debate on the matter.
Bringing a third casino to Connecticut has been part of an ongoing conversation for the last couple years. It would basically be a joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, which currently run Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.
That third casino, which would cost $300 million would be built in East Windsor, right on the site of the former showcase cinemas. All of this to compete with the casino that’s currently going up just over our border in Springfield. The hope is that a third casino here would prevent gamblers from going to Massachusetts, keeping them and their money here in Connecticut.
Many argue that the third casino would also save thousands of current jobs and create more than a thousand new ones. And bring money to our state at a time when it’s desperately needed.
Officials say over the last 20 years the two existing casinos have brought $7 billion to the state.On the other side of this, some are worried about the negative consequences more gambling can have on the people of Connecticut, such as addiction. And the fact the bill the senate passed doesn’t contain a licensing fee for the state, which leaves $100 million on the table in the middle of the budget crisis.
So the big question is what’s next? The matter now has to be voted on by the house. If it gets the green light there, it will move on to the governor for his signature. We, of course, will keep you updated.