April 6, 2017

Tribes vow to 'guarantee' slot revenue

Rendering | Contributed
Rendering | Contributed
The proposed third casino in East Windsor.

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes sent a letter to state leaders Thursday offering to guarantee slot revenue to Connecticut if the legislature passes the bill authorizing a third casino in East Windsor.

"With the development of a third casino operated jointly by Mohegan and [the] Pequot[s]," the letter states, "we are committed to guaranteeing our existing slot revenue arrangement with the state and are proposing compact amendments that will ensure those revenue streams are preserved. SB 957 does not jeopardize this revenue sharing, because it is expressly conditioned on approval of the tribes' proposed compact amendments."

If the bill is passed, the tribes would build a $300 million gaming and entertainment facility in East Windsor. The casino would pay a 25 percent tax on its slot machine revenues and a 25 percent tax on its table game revenues, "on par with Massachusetts tax rates," the tribe notes.

The table game tax rate would be split, with 10 percent of the revenue going directly to the state and 15 percent going to support state tourism initiatives, they added.

According to the existing compact, both tribes' casinos -- Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino -- provide 25 percent each of their slot revenue to the state. Combined, in past decades, they have contributed more than $7 billion to the state, the tribes said.

The tribes' aim in building a third casino is to stem the competition from MGM Springfield, which is under construction and scheduled to open in the fall of 2018.

Another competing bill in Connecticut would open up the site selection process beyond just the tribes.

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