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MGM announces plans to build new casino in Bridgeport

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BRIDGEPORT -

MGM is taking a gamble on Bridgeport by announcing plans for a new casino that could bring thousands of jobs to the area.

It comes at a time when the state is reeling from the loss of some major companies.

The casino could be built at Steele Point in Bridgeport.

The proposed site used to be the Carpenter Technology property along the harbor and across from Webster Bank Arena.

Renderings of the proposed MGM Bridgeport show a 10-story, 300-room hotel that will include the casino, restaurants, stores and a theater that would be funded with private investment dollars.

At a news conference Monday, representatives from MGM said the casino will create 7,000 jobs, and provide a total economic impact of $2.9 billion by 2019.

Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim says the casino will be a much-needed boost for the state.

“Hundreds of millions potentially of dollars on an annual basis for the state, monies for cities and towns directly and indirectly,” says Ganim. “It’s a huge project and I think it’s one we really have to look at when the state’s challenged.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy, however, says that gaming is not currently authorized in Bridgeport, and that the state's two tribal casinos Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods have exclusive casino development rights in the state.

“I can’t imagine entering into an agreement with any entity that would endanger our relationship with the tribal nations,” he says.

News 12 Connecticut has learned a casino is in the works for East Windsor to be run jointly by the two.

MGM officials say if the idea gets approved by the state, the casino would be completed in 2 1/2 years.

This is not the first time MGM has tried to build a casino in Connecticut. The company was shut out of plans to build in greater Hartford during the last legislative session. MGM sued the state, but lost in court.

News 12 is told MGM is also trying to open a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, next year.

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