With casino study proposed, tribes go digital

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A Norwalk lawmaker said Friday he’s introducing a bill in the state legislature that would require another review of the costs and benefits of introducing commercial casinos to Connecticut.

Rep. Chris Perone, a Democrat, warned against allowing the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to pursue a third Connecticut casino in the Hartford area “without having all the facts of its potential impact to the state.”

“As co-chair of the legislature’s Commerce Committee, I am accustomed to considering a wide range of proposals that purport to improve or enhance economic development,” Perone said in a post on his website. “In doing so, I rely on a thorough investigation of the facts and a conscientious review of relevant data and that is precisely what would be achieved by a comprehensive, independent study.

“There are too many examples of other states, in the interest of improving their economic situation, making hasty decisions only to find that more thoughtful analysis would have gone a long way to improve outcomes,” he said. “Many questions remain. What is missing are answers that can only be generated through smart, objective thorough, data-driven analysis.”

The Mashantuckets and the Mohegans, hoping to protect their tribal casinos — Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun — by developing a commercial facility in the Hartford area to compete against MGM Springfield, a $950 million resort under construction in Massachusetts, commissioned a study of the impact of out-of-state casino projects last year. On Friday, they launched a digital campaign outlining the results of that study, which found that some 9,000 Connecticut jobs and more than $100 million in tax revenue could be lost.

The online ad is at www.ctjobsmatter.com.

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