MGM Plans Casino Facility in Bridgeport, Conn. - NECN
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MGM Plans Casino Facility in Bridgeport, Conn.

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    MGM Resorts International announced Monday plans to develop a casino in Bridgeport, but they will need a change in state law first.

    (Published Monday, Sept. 18, 2017)

    MGM Resorts International and The RCI group are announcing plans to develop a casino in Bridgeport.

    The planned casino, MGM Bridgeport, would be at Steelpointe Harbor in Bridgeport.

    MGM company officials say the facility will bring jobs and increased revenue to Bridgeport, and will be funded through private investment.

    MGM said the Bridgeport casino would bring more than 7,000 new jobs to the area along with $8 million in annual payments to the city and $4.5 million in payments to surrounding communities, according to a press release.  

    MGM Bridgeport would have 2,000 slot machines, 160 table games, a 700-seat theater, 300-room hotel, and retail and dining selections.

    The plans come after the state approved plans for a third casino in Connecticut in East Windsor, run by MMCT Venture, LLC, a joint venture of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes.

    MGM was opposed to that plan and has been pushing for an open commercial bid process. MGM is opening a new casino just over the Connecticut border in Springfield, Mass. next fall.

    MGM and The RCI Group would need approval from the state legislature to move forward with the plan.

    Chris Collibee, a spokesman for Gov. Dannel Malloy, said "We will review the proposal when our office receives it. However, it is important to note that gaming is not currently authorized in Bridgeport under current law."

    Andrew Doba, a spokesperson for MMCT Venture, released the following statement on MGM's plans for a Bridgeport casino.

    "The idea that MGM is having a "groundbreaking" for a project that hasn't come close to receiving legislative approval continues a pattern of dishonesty that we saw time and again during the legislative session. Simply put, authorization of this facility would violate the existing compacts between the two tribes and the state which would immediately end the slot payments that currently sends the state hundreds of million a year in much need revenue. Our state's elected officials saw through their dishonesty last session, and we expect them to see this latest fib for exactly what it is - another bought and paid for piece of misinformation."

    MGM has said that it believes the proximity to the New York area would help recruit a larger base of customers to its casino compared to the East Windsor proposal.

    MGM's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Murren is "a Bridgeport native," according to a release from the company.

    Murren said MGM Bridgeport can be "a major economic force, a top-tier entertainment resort, and an essential contributor to this community."

    In MGM's plans, the company said it will also establish a workforce development and training center in the city of New Haven.