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Legislators Say More Casinos Too Much of a Gamble

Connecticut needs more revenue, but legislators say more casinos are not the answer.


While some legislators want Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the General Assembly to consider expanding casinos across the Nutmeg State, others say no dice.

State Rep. Gary Holder-Winfield, a Democrat representing New Haven in the 94th House District, frowns on the whole idea.

“Sure you can raise revenue but what are you promoting to do it?” Holder-Winfield said.

He also questions whether adding to Foxwoods would make Connecticut more competitive.

“Casinos? Not a fan of expanding them!” said state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, a Republican representing Fairfield in the 132nd House District. “There's so much data that shows how detrimental they are to the cities and towns were they're built.”

Aside from concerns of a more moral nature, there are concerns of the money kind.

Simply put, Fred Carstensen, director for the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis at the University of Connecticut, questions whether more roulette tables mean more revenue.

“I don’t see that expanding gambling in Connecticut would have much impact – we already have a lot between the casinos and the state lottery,” Carstensen said. “If you opened facilities in Bridgeport or western Connecticut it would largely divert gambling from the current sites. There might be some gain, but there are costs too – policing, transportation.”

Because the next session is a short session, lawmakers will be hard pressed to find time to deal with more than tweaking the budget and tackling education. Still, with a shaky economy issues like expanding gaming beyond Foxwoods might be explored.

“As for expanding casinos, I am not a fan of gambling, but I do think we need to decide which way we are going to go with regard to the casinos and other forms of legalized gambling,” said state Rep. Fred Camillo, a Republican representing Greenwich in the 151st House District. “I am aware of the revenue generated by gambling and the ways we can increase (advertising dollars) revenue to the state that doesn't include involuntary taxes."

"It is a discussion that needs to take place,” he said.

Some lawmakers want to understand the stakes more before deciding.

State Rep. Kim Rose, a Democrat representing Milford in the 116th House District, said she still needs to hear both sides. 

George E. Mulligan December 05, 2011 at 10:10 PM
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Charles Baltayan December 05, 2011 at 11:09 PM
I havre heard from Casino employees that the Casinos are not as busy as theyonce were and have reduced staffing. My guess is that revenues are also down so returns will be down, as well.... probably not a good solution to add more.
Barbara T. December 06, 2011 at 01:00 AM
Revenue might be down at the Casinos. But the real question is with all the money that the State Of Ct has received from the two Casinos since they have opened. How was it spent? With that much income coming in from the Casinos the State should of been in darn good shape if it was spent the way it should of been.The State has hundreds of their own lottery games and we are still in poor shape.
Robert Chambers December 06, 2011 at 01:13 PM
It's not a revenue problem its a spending problem. Sooner or later they will have to realize there's no more blood in the stone left to squeeze.
RONALD M GOLDWYN December 06, 2011 at 02:42 PM
Yes revinue is down, and now MA is going into the Casino business. This means with the limited casinos in NY, CT will be getting a smaller and smaller cut of the tourist dollar. Our casino's will be surrounded and will have only local residents to support them. This will also effect the take that our government receives as well. Expand - hell no, even Atlantic City is in trouble. Yes blame it on the economy.

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