EAST WINDSOR, Conn. (WWLP) – Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont is reportedly raising the idea of selling the XL Center in Hartford and allowing sports betting in the state, in exchange for Connecticut’s two federally-recognized tribes dropping their proposal for a jointly-run casino in East Windsor.
The Hartford Courant reports that Lamont’s proposal would allow the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes to open a casino in Bridgeport and oversee sports betting in the state. It would also involve the sale of the XL Center in downtown Hartford to the tribes, and allow them to host gambling operations at the arena.
Having gambling downtown would make it less accessible for people who don’t want to drive into Hartford in terms of parking and walking and accessibility. I think if it’s isolated in East Windsor there is less likely to be any criminal activity.Maryann Scussel of Suffield, Conn.
For the past couple years, the tribes have been planning “Tribal Winds,” a jointly-run casino at the site of the former Showcase Cinemas in East Windsor, just 13 miles from the MGM Springfield casino. Though the previous Showcase Cinemas was demolished, construction has not started.
MGM, for its part, has proposed a casino of its own in Bridgeport, and has threatened legal action against the state to block the East Windsor casino.