David Collins: Tribes keep gaming dollars at home in Connecticut

High-wire artist Nik Wallenda performs a stunt outside the new Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods on May 22, 2015. Photo by Blue Chip Photography via Facebook

Columnist David Collins supports Senate Bill 1090, a measure that paves the way for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe to open one more casino in Connecticut:
Who would have thought, during the darkest days of the last recession, as Connecticut casinos laid off workers and watched gambling revenue fall off a cliff, that those casinos would start building and hiring again so soon?

No one is predicting a bright future for Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, with Massachusetts poised to siphon off so much business, a new straw next to the New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island straws, which have already been drawing down a pool of gambling dollars the Connecticut tribes once had all to themselves.

Still, there is a lot of positive development on the two eastern Connecticut reservations.

The New England Casino Race: Tribal and commercial gaming facilities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
At Mohegan, a big yellow construction crane, the beginning of a new $120 million hotel scheduled to open next fall, stands almost as tall as the existing hotel tower and dominates the skyline.

At Mashantucket, the Pequots have just opened, with their new retail partner, Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods, a dazzling 80-store indoor retail mall that connects the two casino towers.

It's encouraging to see such an impressive project, one that required a busy jobs fair to staff, come on line at the sunny end of the recession.

Get the Story:
David Collins: Construction cranes over Connecticut Indian Country (The New London Day 6/17)

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