A bill that creates a multi-step process for possibly opening a new tribal casino in Connecticut is heading to the governor.
The bill previously cleared the Senate and the House of Representatives voted 88-55 in favor of the legislation early Friday morning.
The measure is a retooled version of a bill which would have allowed the tribes that own Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts Casinos to open up to three casinos to help combat out-of-state gambling competition.
"We are pleased and grateful to the State House of Representatives for their support of a plan to protect thousands of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods jobs and revenue from out of state competition," Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said in a statement issued on Friday morning. "This legislation, which we hope will be signed by the Governor, will begin a process by the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes to invest millions to identify the best site for a satellite gaming facility in north central Connecticut, and to work with state and federal officials to ensure the state and our two Tribal governments are legally protected,"
However, the attorney general warned that legislation could prompt legal challenges.
This new bill allows the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots to enter into a development agreement with one host community. That deal would need legislative approval.
"We thank the General Assembly for its support and leadership on the urgent matter of protecting a valuable Connecticut industry and its employees, and for their continued government-to-government partnership with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes," Brown and Butler said
Rep. Stephen Dargan said the bill shows Connecticut wants to protect jobs in southeastern Connecticut. Opponents questioned that thinking.
The bill passed this morning now heads to the governor.