Revenue and Freedom
Government doesn't work. Yet another year has passed with Connecticut's General Assembly failing to empower businesses to entertain customers with extended legalized gaming. We remain with two remote casinos, run by owners whose profits go to small very privileged tribes.
Assembly members await a slow-moving federal bureaucracy. But even with a "green light" from DC, there is no plan in place for permitting businesses in the towns that would like to have casino gaming (and shows, and restaurants, and accompanying hotels) of their own. Assembly members fawn at ex-athletes making pitches, but for years have had disdain for common folks and uncommon businesses making reasoned proposals.
The solution: state government should butt out.
Let municipalities that want new businesses of any form allow them. Let them court proposals for one or even multiple casinos. If nine new casinos sprout throughout CT, so be it. That draws outsiders to the state, keeps them in CT longer, and provides nearby entertainment for those of us who want it -- no need to travel to Springfield. Abandon the tribal compact if need be - (treat Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun like any other business, albeit they had a tremendous state-helped running start).
Revenue is the least important element of this proposal. It's a nice bonus. Most important is FREEDOM. Municipalities should be free to flourish as they wish. Some will eschew all forms of gambling. Fine. They might become "meccas" for residents who want to keep that influence out. Others who want more vibrancy and more jobs will vote to include gaming.
That is a better form of democracy than state-imposed and federally guided rules. As for the General Assembly - let the municipalities run with this.