Harp Bets On Casino Jobs

Mark Pazniokas PhotoNew Haven Mayor Toni Harp went to Bridgeport Monday to place an early bet.

She joined Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim at a press conference to announce — and support — a plan by MGM Resorts International to build a waterfront casino in the Park City.

Harp told the Independent later that the casino would benefit New Haven because the company plans to locate a job-training center for it in New Haven. She also noted that the casino is projected to create 2,000 jobs.

Meanwhile, the casino itself is no sure bet. It needs state approval of the plan. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy immediately raised doubts about that because it would jeopardize the state’s deals with the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans, which send the state $260 million in annual slot revenues in return for permission to operate casinos. Also, proposals to build more casinos in Connecticut — such as a previous one in Bridgeport — have in the past raised fears about promoting problem gambling, organized crime, and exploitation of the poor.

On the other hand, the Trump administration’s Bureau of Indian Affairs has been holding up approval for the tribes to build an East Windsor casino (which would compete with an MGM operation over the state line in Springfield, Mass.). That leaves an opening to approve the MGM plan. And the MGM Bridgeport deal offers tantalizing promises to Connecticut legislators struggling past deadline to pass a new budget: a $50 million initial payment to the state and an alleged $300 million annual tax bill. Furthermore, Connecticut’s powerful UNITE HERE union, which does business with MGM in Nevada, would stand to gain from the new casino.

Click here to read a full story on the casino proposal by the Connecticut Mirror’s Mark Pazniokas.

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posted by: BetweenTwoRocks on September 19, 2017  7:40am

Still illegal. Still violates the exclusive legal agreement between the state and the Tribes.

Still not sure it’s a bad idea. It’s not like any other huge companies clamoring to build huge developments in Bridgeport. I’m not a gambler, but I would absolutely love being able to take the train to some oceanfront dining/attractions. I imagine NYC/Long Island folks would be equally interested.

That being said, casinos have enormous negative consequences to the local areas, especially if they’re already depressed economically. Casinos target our most vulnerable citizens, and there are plenty of vulnerable citizens in Bridgeport.

If I was a CT legislator, I’m not sure what I’d do. It’s hard to blame Harp or local pols for supporting, but also hard to blame anyone for saying this is a bad idea.

However, it’s not as if Mohegan/Foxwoods have really ruined the Ledyard/Uncasville area, have they?

posted by: RatashaSmith on September 19, 2017  7:51am

Bridgeport needs the development and we need the jobs. Malloy needs to negotiate with the other tribes so we can break ground.

posted by: Dwightstreeter on September 19, 2017  7:57am

Just look at Atlantic City’s failure to thrive and ask yourself why would any politician think a casino is a good idea.
  They come with the usual promise of jobs, but the only benefit they produce is for the investors.
    What a poverty of vision our politicians exhibit when they glom onto these schemes that take money from people and move it somewhere else.
    Casinos and sports stadiums are scams, but the politicians keep lining up at the trough.
    I wonder how much of MGM’s cash will end up in some political campaigns.

posted by: robn on September 19, 2017  7:58am

I can’t think of anything more appealing than Joe Ganim offering me less than 50% odds of winning.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on September 19, 2017  8:06am

Snake-Oil and Three card monte being sold.The decline in American gambling, Casinos are folding like the malls arcoss this country.As far as the Jobs.if this was to open they are taken already..

Casinos: A Losing Bet For Massachusetts

Consider first that the casino industry is in decline. Moody’s recently downgraded the industry’s outlook from “stable” to “negative.” Six out of 12 casinos in New Jersey have filed for bankruptcy; four large casinos in Atlantic City have closed this year, and another soon will. If Massachusetts tries to rely on casino revenue, it will become a stakeholder in the gambling industry itself, tied to failing casinos. Delaware has had to spend $8 million to bail out its casinos, and Rhode Island projects losses of over $422 million in casino revenue over the next five years.

Also there is a problem of Casino-Saturation.

America’s Casino-Saturation Problem

While enormous flagship properties with luxury hotels and fabulous restaurants may continue to succeed in major cities, states are making a mistake when they approve upscale resorts, with their outsize operating costs, in remote areas. Rather than resuscitating local economies, these kinds of projects too often run into financial difficulties—especially when the state next door decides to put a casino of its own just down the road. Already, this threatens to happen to Massachusetts. With construction on the MGM project in Springfield scarcely begun, Connecticut’s Mohegan tribe and at least one state legislator, concerned about the incoming competition, have announced their desire to build a new attraction along Interstate 91.

My bad I forgot about this problem

How Casinos Enable Gambling Addicts


posted by: theNEWnewhaven on September 19, 2017  8:48am

Is this really the best option for Bridgeport’s downtown Waterfront?

I feel that city is on the brink of a NEW GENERATION of residents and this space could better be utilized for mixed-use, mixed-income.

Real thoughts: Will people be afraid to go here due to BPT’s reputation?

Just think of the club scene, haha. One weekend with New Haven, Waterbury, and BPT people dancing and Trumbull kids will not come back.

Also, REAL TALK - Closing times for clubs? PLEASE BE AFTER 2:00 a.m. ?

ROOFTOP Pool Parties in the summer?

I hope they do this well!

So looking forward to there being more to in the immediate area

posted by: LookOut on September 19, 2017  8:53am

hey threefifths….if this project goes forward, you could apply to be a three card monte dealer in Bridgeport

posted by: robn on September 19, 2017  9:28am


posted by: cunningham on September 19, 2017  11:17am

Really? A casino? Come on.

posted by: THREEFIFTHS on September 19, 2017  3:17pm

posted by: LookOut on September 19, 2017 9:53am

hey threefifths….if this project goes forward, you could apply to be a three card monte dealer in Bridgeport

To late your good friends GOV.Dan Malloy Mayor Toni Harp and Mayor Joe Ganim have the skills experience and qualifications for the job.In fact they can also work the crap tables with those same skills experience and qualifications. In fact any politician political hack the skills experience and qualifications for the job.

My bad I would love to work the Baccarat table.

posted by: beyonddiscussion on September 19, 2017  10:56pm

Sad really that this is the only business option some folks are rallying around. Not only would the state lose a quarter of a billion dollars a year, but it’s another casino which generally squeezes money out of folks who can least afford it. You can’t build back the state economy on this sham, shady industry which causes so many social problems.

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 20, 2017  8:26pm

Seems like Harp has been forging alliances with outsiders rather than tending to her New Haven Sheep…..

This is a great example…..  Sister Cities partnership with UNH another….

In fact, at the polls on election day there was a ‘Union Stooge’ working the polls. I asked why she was supporting Harp (she lived in Hamden)—Union Stooge replied ‘Mayor Harp treats our Union well….”

So there you have it,—NH Citizen’s Last in this Administration…

posted by: Bill Saunders on September 20, 2017  8:34pm

Is the Ferry going to run all nite???