House Speaker: Agreement reached on casino-related bill

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A companion bill that helps the pari-mutuel industry by expanding the number of available off-track betting licenses from 18 to 24, passed on a closer vote of 77 to 72. It was drafted to attract some Democratic votes.

It's unclear when budget talks between Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and legislative leaders will resume now that the session has adjourned.

"That's not a threat".

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The Democrat told The Associated Press on Tuesday night the House of Representatives plans to vote on legislation that includes provisions aimed at gaining support for a separate Senate bill that would allow the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to build a casino in East Windsor to compete with a new MGM Resorts casino in MA.

"Nobody wanted to risk the jobs", he said. In a separate bill, the House will address some of the requests by many undecided lawmakers in recent days.

Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown said families of casino workers at Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun were "breathing a sigh of relief" that the legislation passed. Brief closing remarks were delivered by Rep. Mike France of Ledyard, a Republican whose district covers both tribal casinos. Malloy stated he looks forward to reviewing the final bill. The governor issued a statement commending lawmakers for keeping the focus on jobs.

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The same bill also creates a new entertainment sharing agreement between the tribes - owners and operators of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun - and entertainment arenas across CT with 5,000 or more seats. "But nothing's been signed off on, there's not a bill in existence - it's still being talked about".

A third tribal casino in CT is getting closer to becoming a reality.

CT lawmakers have passed legislation that could eventually prevent state transportation funds from being spent on other projects.

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The revenue sharing has been worth $7 billion to the state since 1993, but it has been shrinking since hitting a high of $430 million in 2007. The gambling venue will aim to be a direct competitor to the $950-million resort Las Vegas casino giant MGM Resorts International is now building in neighboring MA. The tribes had sought approval for their project in an effort to compete with the opulent MGM casino/resort now under construction in Springfield, Massachusetts. Without the project, the tribes said they expected to lose 9,000 jobs. The gaming commission, last month, approved the company's workforce development plan. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate before the session adjourns at midnight Wednesday. The first $4.5 million in slots revenue would be set aside for annual grants of $750,000 to each of six communities: Hartford, East Hartford, Ellington, Enfield, South Windsor and Windsor Locks.

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