The state of Connecticut has been hit hard by the coronavirus, and it has taken a huge toll on the economy throughout the state. Lawmakers are now urging Governor Ned Lamont to make some changes to rejuvenate the economy.
Thirteen lawmakers recently joined together to pen a letter to Lamont, asking him to allow the two tribal casinos in the state to operate online. Lawmakers are also hoping that Lamont can allow the casinos to offer mobile sports betting to bring in more revenue.
The two casinos that are located in the state of Connecticut are the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods. The Mohegan Tribe operates the Mohegan Sun, and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation operates Foxwoods.
Both of the casinos shut their doors on March 16, but they did so voluntarily to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Because they are tribal casinos, they did not have to follow the order that was announced by Lamont, but they thought that they were doing the right thing.
Now the pair of casinos are hoping to get some help from the state, and several key lawmakers are stepping in to try and provide some support. The casinos and the lawmakers that sent the letter to Lamont are urging him to use executive orders to create new gaming rules and regulations to help the casinos get back on track.
The Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods can reopen whenever they choose, but both casinos recently announced that they would not be reopening in time for Memorial Day weekend. This is a huge weekend for both locations, and they are set to lose out on a ton of money by staying closed.
The lawmakers that wrote the letter to Lamont have several requests of the governor, but they ultimately want to see him work together with the casinos to come up with a plan. Thousands of casino workers have been laid off because of the shutdown, and the unemployment rate in Connecticut continues to climb.
Online gaming and sports betting are currently prohibited in the state of Connecticut, and there have been some intense legal battles surrounding each industry in the past. Lawmakers are hoping that Lamont can go above all of the political arguments and do what is best for the casinos and the state.
Another request made by the lawmakers was to allow the Connecticut state lottery to offer online keno and internet scratch-off games. The state of Rhode Island just launched its online lottery, becoming the ninth state in the US to do so.
Lamont has yet to formally respond to the letter, but lawmakers plan to continue to put pressure on the governor to consider their proposal.
Connecticut Reopening Some Businesses on May 20
Governor Lamont did recently announce that the state is planning to allow several businesses to reopen beginning on May 20. There is plenty of opposition with this announcement as well, but Lamont feels good about the plan that is in place.
Lamont was quick to point out that there would be strict health and safety guidelines and regulations in place, and he was surprised that the casinos were thinking about reopening. Lamont fears that customers will flock to the casinos when they reopen, causing an increase in positive cases of the coronavirus.
Hospitalizations throughout the state of Connecticut have been declining for three straight weeks, and the state has ramped up their testing capabilities. Governor Lamont announced that the state will be able to test 100,000 people per week by the beginning of June.