Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

January 29, 2020

Sen. Anwar Joins Sen. Osten’s Unveiling Of Casino Jobs And Revenue Bill For 2020 Legislative Session

HARTFORD – State Senator Saud Anwar (D-South Windsor) today joined State Senator Cathy Osten (D-Sprague), a longtime advocate for protecting Connecticut jobs and growing Connecticut revenue, as she unveiled a working draft of her new 2020 bill, “An Act Concerning Jobs In and Revenue From the Gaming Industry,” which seeks to expand and grow Connecticut jobs in the gaming and entertainment industry while securing more gaming revenue for Connecticut’s cities and towns.

Sens. Anwar and Osten were joined today by a bipartisan group of legislators who support the bill and its goals.

“Today, we are talking about a win-win strategy,” said Sen. Anwar. “If you look at the details, everyone wins. Not only will we have significant new investments in East Windsor and Bridgeport, but we have jobs for the people who will build these places. In East Windsor, we anticipate 2,000 jobs in building the casino and 2,000 more jobs when the casino is built and running. All of the neighboring towns, including East Hartford, Ellington and South Windsor, will also benefit, getting new revenue sources as residents work at these casinos and individuals travel through them to access the casinos. It’s the same in Bridgeport – new jobs will come not only where the casino is built but the surrounding areas. I am excited to support these plans and look forward to the project’s progress.”

“Connecticut needs to embrace and promote two of the largest employers in our state – the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes – with the same fervor and conviction that we have embraced the aerospace industry, advanced manufacturing, and biotech. It’s a matter of fairness and respect for an industry that that I believe is long overdue,” Sen. Osten said. “With the expansion of gaming and entertainment in Connecticut comes the responsibility, I believe, for the two tribes to share some of that wealth with Connecticut’s cities and towns. We plan on distributing $88 million more in gaming revenue to all Connecticut cities and towns – that’s up from the current $51 million – with the possibility of another $25 million or so for several targeted, impacted communities. There is also accountability in this bill in that we ask DMHAS to create a new program for the treatment and rehabilitation of compulsive gamblers in this state – with that program to be funded by fees from gaming operators – and for the Department of Consumer Protection to increase its outreach on compulsive gambling.”

The 41-page draft bill includes several new and important public policies, including:

  • Directing Governor Lamont to negotiate and amend the existing tribal compacts by October 1
  • Allowing the tribes to operate both retail and online sports betting
  • The creation of a new casino in Bridgeport to be jointly operated by the two tribes
  • The creation of tribal ‘entertainment zones’ in Hartford, New Haven, and one other town to be determined
  • Extending Connecticut’s deadline for serving alcohol in casinos from 2 a.m. until 4 a.m.
  • A new system for allotting some of the new tribal revenue, including 10% of gross gaming revenue (not from video slots) to be earmarked for statewide tourism efforts, and 15% to be deposited into the General Fund
  • An increase of $88 million (from $51 million to $139 million) of gaming revenue to be distributed annually to all 169 Connecticut cities and towns
  • If remaining funds allow, additional grants of $750,000 each to be distributed annually to Bridgeport, East Hartford, Ellington, Enfield, Hartford, New Haven, Norwalk, South Windsor, Waterbury, West Hartford, Windsor and Windsor Locks
  • If remaining funds allow, additional grants of $750,000 each to be distributed annually to East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, Montville, Norwich, Stonington and Waterford
  • If remaining funds allow, additional grants to $375,000 each to be distributed annually to Bozrah, Franklin, Griswold, Lisbon, North Stonington, Preston, Salem, and Sprague.
  • The City of Bridgeport may impose property taxes on the planned Bridgeport casino for up to 10 years
  • The Connecticut Lottery Corporation may conduct online lottery ticket sales, with age confirmation
  • The state Department of Consumer Protection must, within available resources, inform the public about programs designed to prevent, treat and rehabilitate compulsive gamblers
  • The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) must establish a program for the treatment and rehabilitation of compulsive gamblers