The state Senate took a big step in expanding gambling approving a new satellite casino to be built by the two federally recognized Native American tribes.
The measure passed 24 to 12 after debate, and still requires approval by the House. Governor Dannel Malloy says this bill is the only casino measure he would consider signing.
Supporters of the bill say it would create more than 1,200 permanent jobs, while opponents say the state is risking a legal problem by granting a monopoly on gambling to Native American tribes on nontribal land.
Senators crossed party lines to vote for the measure, with both Democrats and Republicans voting in support of the bill.
Danbury state Senator Mike McLachlan reluctantly voted in favor of the bill. He said he would give it a chance' despite having reservations about the casino. But he cautioned that his support was because of the location. McLachlan noted that he does not want to be back in three or four years to find people saying a casino is needed in Danbury. He also asked his colleagues when the state is going to stop chasing easy money like this.
Among those voting against the bill were Wilton Senator Toni Boucher; Craig Miner, whose district includes New Milford; Tony Hwang, whose district includes Newtown; and Eric Berthel, whose district includes Southbury.