Tense moments as Bridgeport officials make case for MGM casino

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Bridgeport officials were in Hartford Tuesday to make their case for a waterfront casino in the Park City.

As News 12 reported, MGM wants to build a $700 million resort on the Bridgeport waterfront.

However, the state has to legalize casino ownership to private companies and not just the tribes that run Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos.

The tribes signed a contract in the early 1990s giving themselves exclusive rights to casino gaming in the state in exchange for 25 percent of slot machine revenue for the state.

At the hearing in Hartford, things quickly got heated with Sen. Cathy Osten having an exchange of words with Rep. Jack Hennesy.

If the state allows MGM to build in Bridgeport then it will lose out on $200 million a year in slot machine money from Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos.

Those in favor of the Casino say it will bring 7,000 jobs to Bridgeport while opponents say the loss of slot revenue is not worth it.

"We need to get people jobs in the city of Bridgeport because it's literally life or death," says Rep. Chris Rosario.

The matter of sports betting was also on the table at the hearing. The tribes say only they can offer sports betting, but owners of the sports bar Bobby V's in Stamford say they should be able to offer it as well.

New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island already offer sports betting. Experts say Connecticut is losing out on tens of millions of dollars a year.

Related Stories:
MGM announces plans to build new casino in Bridgeport
Bridgeport lawmakers ready to double down on casino efforts

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