HARTFORD, Conn. — The Latest on legislation authorizing a tribal casino in East Windsor, Connecticut. (all times local):
The Connecticut House has approved a bill that was crafted to garner more support for another bill authorizing a tribal casino in East Windsor.
Lawmakers voted 77-72 early Wednesday morning in favor of the proposal, which expands the number of off-track betting locations across the state and requires the Department of Consumer Protection to set up a framework for possible sports betting. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate.
The General Assembly will adjourn its regular session at midnight Wednesday.
The bill, reached at the eleventh-hour Tuesday, also creates an entertainment sharing agreement between the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes and entertainment venues across the state.
Some lawmakers complained they knew little about the legislation, saying it could have major impacts on communities.
Connecticut lawmakers have given final legislative approval to a bill that authorizes the state’s two federally recognized tribes to open a casino in East Windsor.
Wednesday’s early morning vote came less than 23 hours before the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its regular legislative session. The bill cleared the House of Representatives on a 103-46 vote. The bill, which already passed in the Senate, now heads to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy.
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes hope the new, jointly owned facility will help them compete with the MGM Resorts Casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Some lawmakers, however, preferred opening the process to other casino developers.
The House is expected to approve accompanying legislation that expands the number of off-track-betting parlors and makes other changes.
Connecticut House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (ehr-eh-SIM’-oh-wits) says a tentative deal has been reached that could ultimately lead to a new tribal casino.
The Democrat told The Associated Press Tuesday night the House of Representatives plans to vote on legislation that includes provisions aimed at gaining support for a separate Senate bill that would allow the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to build a casino in East Windsor to compete with a new MGM Resorts casino in Massachusetts.
Aresimowicz says the bill allows Sportech to have eight more off-track betting licenses, for a total of 24 locations. It creates an entertainment sharing agreement between the tribes and entertainment arenas across Connecticut with 5,000 or more seats and requires the Department of Consumer Protection to set up a framework for possible sports betting.
There does not appear to be support in the Senate for the idea. He says lawmakers are still negotiating an alternative gambling-related bill.
That proposal would theoretically make it easier for a Senate bill to clear the House of Representatives that allows Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribal nations to open a casino in East Windsor to compete with the MGM Resorts casino opening in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Sportech, which runs off-track betting facilities in Connecticut, says it’s worried about how the MGM casino will impact its venues in Windsor Locks, Manchester, Hartford and New Britain “without any remedies to protect our employees.”