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MGM Springfield to Fight Against East Hartford Casino Bill

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November 25, 2015

The new MGM casino resort in Springfield will cost close to $1 billion to complete. Now the company, with the help of former US attorney general Eric Holder, is actively trying to stop a casino project that would be located just over the state line in Connecticut.

The casino is a joint venture between two Native American tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegans. They are the owners of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino. Recently Connecticut approved the casino.

MGM wants to stop the tribes' project by challenging Connecticut's constitution. A federal judge is being asked to rule that the casino would be illegal.

On November 19 MGM announced that they will spend $950 million on the Springfield casino. Previously the company planned to spend $800 million. However then they reduced the original size of the casino by 14 percent and removed plans for the 25 story tower.

The business plan for MGM's casino is based on people from Connecticut making up a third of the visitors. The Connecticut casino could possibly effect the amount of out-of-state visitors greatly.

Connecticut receives 25 percent of the revenue from slot machines at the tribal owned casinos since the 1990's. That has totaled over $6.5 billion. However, as more casinos are being built revenue at both the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino has dropped. Building a new casino so close to the state boarder is the tribe's intention to stop further loss of visitors and declining revenue.

The location for the Connecticut casino has not been selected as of yet. The announce is expected to be made by December 15. East Hartford and three other cities have submitted proposals to be the casino's host city.

In June a bill that would allow for another casino was approved. The actual opening and operating a casino requires another vote and an act of legislature.

MGM intends to lobby legislators into rejecting the bill. Residents of East Hardford are also having their information collected to be used against the bill.

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