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Connecticut communities want more casino money

12 March 2007

CONNECTICUT – As reported by the Norwich Bulletin: "Like many residents in Eastern Connecticut, Steven Meronek of Norwich wonders what happens to the money being generated at the state's two American Indian-run casinos.

"…Less than 20 percent -- $85 million -- of the estimated $450 million generated annually from the casino slot machines is returned to the state's 169 cities and towns under a complicated formula that provides major cities such as Bridgeport, New Haven and Hartford a larger share than all of the communities combined in southeastern Connecticut -- which is home to the two casinos.

"Today, the legislature's Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing on bills aimed at increasing the amount that cities and towns receive -- with an emphasis on more of that fund being directed to this region.

"One bill, supported by the entire southeastern Connecticut delegation, will mandate one-third of all projected annual increases in the slot fund be returned to cities and towns, with one-third of that specifically earmarked for southeastern Connecticut communities.

"…State Rep. Steven Mikutel, D-Griswold, has introduced another proposal that is even more ambitious. Mikutel's bill would phase in complete redistribution of the slot funds throughout six years, calling for 51 percent of the entire fund to be returned to cities and towns…"

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