US – Connecticut considering new casinos to counter MGM in SpringfieldBy Phil - 16 March 2015
Connecticut legislators are raising the stakes and taking the game to Massachusetts with new laws paving the way to allow the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe to operate as many as three new casinos in the state.
The move comes as MGM Resorts International is building a casino in nearby Springfield. The Connecticut tribes, who own the Mohegan Sun and the Foxwoods Resort Casino, are hoping the new casinos will help them retain customers who might be attracted to the MGM Resorts. The locations being considered are along Interstate 91 between Hartford and the Massachusetts border. Almost one-third of Foxwoods customers come from Massachusetts, while 10 per cent hail from New York, whilst 18 per cent of Mohegan Sun’s customers come from Massachusetts, while nearly a quarter of them come from New York.
Democratic state Senator Bob Duff said: “Massachusetts has declared economic war on us, and we are going to fight back.”
Senate President Martin Looney has confirmed he supports the plan.
Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, said: “Because of MGM being five miles away over the border, we are somewhat laser-focused on that competition. [The proposed legislation for three casinos] means that we can be a little more open to all of the competition that we’ll face as New York gets the two extra licenses in Southeastern New York up and running.”
The Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes said they would also consider opening casinos in other parts of Connecticut to prevent players from travelling to New York.