April 27--A gaming-industry analyst has questioned whether the bill authorizing more casinos in the state would help Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, the southeastern Connecticut behemoths bracing for competition from Massachusetts and New York.
Senate Bill 1090 would enable the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes, owners of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, respectively, to operate up to three "satellite" casinos in strategic locations.
"The bill is in its early stages and falls short of providing a broader solution that would help the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos," Keith Foley, a senior vice president with Moody's Investors Service, wrote in a report released Monday. "... On a more positive note, the bill demonstrates a willingness on the part of casino competitors and legislators to work together. And if that is truly the case, we expect other proposals will begin to appear that are designed to protect the statewide gaming industry, and by extension, MTGA's and Mashantucket's long-term viability."
MTGA is the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.
Foley noted that the amount of tax revenue the satellite casinos would generate for the state is unclear. He pointed out that the governor and the tribes would have to negotiate the tax levy for the new casinos.
The tribes pay 25 percent of their slot-machine winnings to the state. In the 2014 fiscal year, the payments amounted to $279.9 million, the seventh consecutive year of decline, Foley wrote.
He also noted that both tribes face financial challenges.
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