Connecticut considers video gambling expansion

Jan 13, 2014 10:36 AM

A Connecticut legislative task force appears ready to recommend that the state allow slot machines and video gambling at the three off-track betting centers in the state.

Citing a substantial drop in slot machine revenue in recent months, the group, led by Bridgeport Sen. Andres Ayala, told news sources that the state needs new revenue to make up for the reduction in tax collections.

Since the economic recession, the state’s share of slot machine revenue from the Foxwoods Resorts and Mohegan Sun casinos has fallen from a high of $430 million to a recent $296 million.

Actually, those slots dollars came about because of an agreement negotiated, originally with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, owner of the Foxwoods complex and state officials that, granted  exclusivity to the tribe regarding the operation of slot machines in the state. The agreement was modified to permit Mohegan Sun to also have slot machines.

Just what would happen to this agreement, should the state authorize slots at the Off-Track Betting shops was not mentioned by the task force.

The controversial matter is expected to be taken up by the General Assembly.

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