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Plans For Bridgeport Casino Now On Hold

State Rep. Steve Stafstrom
State Rep. Steve Stafstrom Photo Credit: Contributed photo

Potential plans for a casino in Bridgeport have been put on hold by House Democrats who say they don't have enough time to muster support for the bill.

House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz said in a press conference Tuesday that who should get the casino in the state is too complicated to undertake in the month remaining.

The group also don't believe a request for proposal (RFP) could be developed in time.

Aresimowicz, D-Berlin, made it clear he does not support issuing an RFP for a Bridgeport casino without a gaming plan.

Instead, he is pushing a “comprehensive gaming strategy” that would include hiring a consultant to examine all aspects of gambling -- casinos, sports betting and the lottery-- in the state and provide ideas for future legislation.

“The bill to allow for an open, competitive request for proposal (RFP) process received strong, bipartisan support out of the legislature’s Public Safety Committee. Remember, this bill does not authorize the construction of a new casino; it merely allows an RFP process to move forward. Based on the results of that RFP, lawmakers will be able to act in a more informed way on a more comprehensive gaming strategy for Connecticut in the next legislative session,” said state Rep. Steve Stafstrom, D-Bridgeport.

“In the coming weeks, the Bridgeport Delegation will continue to work with our leadership to push for a vote and secure the votes needed to move this legislation forward. A proposal such as this, which has the potential to bring thousands of jobs and millions in tax revenue to our city, should not be dismissed without allowing the state to receive a formal proposal and without allowing the public the opportunity to provide feedback.”

Av Harris, legislative spokesman for Mayor Joe Ganim said: "It was very, very important to keep the issue moving forward."

Especially for Bridgeport and New Haven when a developer is offering to spend $700 million in the area that would significantly impact jobs, growth, and taxes.

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