At the turn of the year, Governor Malloy voiced his support for a U.S. Department of Justice ruling paving the way for online gaming.
A favorite issue of Connecticut's two resort casinos, gambling online gives Mohegan Sun in Uncasville and Foxwoods in Mashantucket a chance to use their brand recognition to grow their revenue base.
The Justice Department ruling has accelerated decisions in other states, such as New Jersey, to pass online gaming legislation, and Connecticut's casinos are in discussion with the Malloy administration for something of their own, said Chuck Bunnell, the Mohegan tribe's chief of staff for external affairs.
"Our focus has really been on poker online," Bunnell said.
So far, Malloy hasn't committed to any proposals with respect to gaming, including online, Keno, the expansion of off-track betting or anything else, said Juliet Manalan, spokeswoman for Malloy.
The primary issue for Mohegan and Foxwoods is working with Malloy and the General Assembly to make sure the two casinos are in a position to compete as gambling expands to other states.
New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island all have expanded their gambling facilities, eroding the Mohegan and Foxwoods revenue base; but the major change came in 2011 when Massachusetts approved three casinos.
While Massachusetts casinos won't open for business until 2014 at the earliest, the new competition is expected to sap Mohegan and Foxwoods revenues by 15 percent.
The Connecticut casinos, which are taxed 25 percent of their slot machine revenue for state coffers, want to make sure the state helps keep them in business.
"All of our conversations with the state have been very positive," Bunnell said.
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