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April 26, 2019

Tribes' $1M payment to CT moves E. Windsor casino project forward

Rendering | Tribal Winds Casino A rendering of MMCT's proposed $300 million casino in East Windsor.

The tribal operators of Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino have taken their first step in financing a jointly run $300 million casino in East Windsor.

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, operating as MMCT Venture, on Friday said it sent $1 million to the state Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) to offset the state’s regulatory costs for the project.

The measure was required in the ongoing process to finance and build the new gaming and entertainment complex, known as Tribal Winds Casino.

Foxwoods Interim CEO Rodney Butler, who also serves as the tribal nation’s chairman, said the group has been working with East Windsor officials and its design and finance team in recent months to get the project moving again since it received long-awaited approval from the U.S. Department of Interior.

“The payment we’re making today to the state ensures that Connecticut taxpayers won’t have to pay for any costs associated with the opening of Tribal Winds Casino,” said Mohegan Tribe Chairman James Gessner, who is serving on an interim basis in place of Kevin Brown, who recently stepped down.

MMCT said the casino is expected to employ 5,000 Connecticut residents, including 2,000 hires for construction and 2,000 for permanent employment at the facility.

Another 1,000 jobs are expected to be added at small businesses serving the casino, which is being built at the site of the former Showcase Cinemas on Bridge Street.

East Windsor will also receive $8.5 million in new tax and mitigation funding, officials said.

"This million-dollar payment from the tribes to the state shows that we have a very active and trusted partner in the Mohegan and Mashantucket tribes in helping to move Connecticut forward on the jobs and economic development front, " said State Sen. Cathy Osten (D-Sprague).

The tribes are looking to build the East Windsor casino to take a bite out of the revenue usurped by eight-month-old MGM Springfield in the northern half of Connecticut.

Mohegan and Foxwoods have each reported declining slot revenues for nine consecutive months.

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