MGM Resorts International’s plans to build a casino along the Long Island Sound in Connecticut appears dead in the water, at least for now.
The Hartford Courant reports that the bill regarding the MGM project in Bridgeport will not be called for a debate in the state Senate this year.
Rep. Charlie Stallworth, a Democrat representing Bridgeport, told the Courant “that we would do the process again next year.”
Earlier this month, the Connecticut House narrowly approved legislation to allow for the submission of casino proposals, including the MGM project in Bridgeport, though in following days it was not called for a debate.
MGM executives announced in September a plan to build a $600 million casino, creating 7,000 jobs in Bridgeport.
“A year ago, the bill never received a floor vote,” MGM said in a statement, of the matter. “This year, it passed the House. That is significant. We realize that change is hard and takes time, and we respect the delegation’s preference not to dominate debate with this issue with much to accomplish in a short time in the session’s final hours.”
Plans for the gaming resort include 2,000 slot machines, 160 table games, a 300-room hotel, a 700-seat theater, retail stores and restaurants. Casino officials said it would open within 30 months of groundbreaking.
From the start, the project faced the poltical battle of needing approval from the legislature and governor, officials whom had already offered support to the East Windsor casino project being built to compete with MGM Springfield.
MGM Resorts International has spent about $3.8 million on lobbying efforts in Connecticut, three times the amount of any other gaming entity.
Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes — operators of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino, respectively — joined together to open the third casino in Connecticut at the former Showcase Cinemas building in East Windsor. They’ve accused federal officials of blocking their expansion efforts.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation in June allowing the establishment of the East Windsor casino, but federal approval is still required for the casino to open.