Bridgeport mayor lobbies for city casino proposal; governor backs competing plan

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Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim testified for a new casino at the same time Gov. Ned Lamont announced he's backing a competing plan Tuesday.

Ganim told state lawmakers that Bridgeport needs new development along the city's waterfront.

"It is not the end-all, save-all for the city, it is an addition to what we're doing that I think could be exciting," said Ganim.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun say they will build a casino there, but they want something in return -- exclusive rights to offer sports betting.

"We're not claiming anything. We have exclusivity in gaming in the state, based on an agreement that we all signed almost 30 years ago," said Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal chair.

But Lamont said he won't support the plan because it lets the tribal casinos control sports betting. Lamont says everyone should get a cut, including off-track betting sites like Bobby V's in Stamford and the Connecticut Lottery.

Lamont has been trying to work out some sort of deal with the tribal casinos for more than a year. But they say they'll withhold $200 million in slot revenue and a casino in Bridgeport if they can't control sports betting.

New Jersey already offers sportsbooks and Massachusetts and Rhode Island are likely next.

The tribes made it clear that they are willing to hold out to get what they want.

"We have ancestral sites at Mashantucket and at Mohegan that date back 14-15,000 years," said Butler. "We've been here a long time. We've been very patient."

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