Tribes Unveil Casino Building Plans and Pitch For Legislations

tribes casino copyHARTFORD:  The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribe[s], released a rendering of their planned East Windsor entertainment and gaming facility. The two tribes also highlighted the benefits of Senate Bill 957 authorizing the casino and which would include an infusion of funding to assist the state's tourism industry.

According to the tribes the proposed development will be a “world-class,” 200,000 square foot gaming and entertainment facility with 2,000 slot machines and 50 to 150 table games. The Senate bill requires the facility to pay a 25% tax on its slot machines and a 25% tax on its table games.

The tax is similar to the fees being charged by the state of Massachusetts on the MGM Casino in downtown Springfield.

Currently the bill directs the tax revenues to be split, with 10% of the revenue going directly to the Connecticut’s General Fund and 15% to “support state tourism initiatives.”

The tribes claim that the tourism revenues “could add as much as $10 million to the state's annual tourism promotion budget.”

Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe said of the bill and the Casino “this is what Connecticut needs to thwart an immediate threat right across our border,” adding that the  “tourism-boosting provisions make this a statewide bill that will benefit every corner of Connecticut.”

The most recently proposed state budget eliminated funding to the state’s tourism districts  the previous budget. Statewide spending is proposed at $8.25 million a year for the next two years,  an increase from $6.29 million but down to 60% of what tourism agencies received in 2011.