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Face the State Flashback: The Hartford & Bridgeport Casinos

20 years ago this month, Foxwoods was opening what would eventually become the world’s biggest casino.   News was also breaking that Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn wanted to cash in on Connecticut casino fever by opening lavish gambling resorts  in Hartford and Bridgeport.  

In this week’s Face the State flashback, we’ll hear from  Wynn when he came to the State Capitol on March 11, 1992 to present his proposal. 

There were hearings at the State Capitol and renderings unveiled, but most importantly Wynn was telling lawmakers and citizens that he would sink roughly half a billion dollars into a resort in Hartford, that would feature a hotel, convention center, bowling alley, movie cinema, restaurants, and more.   Thousands of jobs would be created. 

Wynn was eventually turned down, and the state decided to grant a casino monopoly to Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, meaning no other casino could ever set up shop in our state.     Hartford never again got an  offer like Wynn’s and nothing has ever been built on the land where a glitzy casino would have gone.    Much of the city’s concert business has moved to Foxwoods and Mohegan.  Remember when Billy Joel used to play Hartford?

Donald Trump later pursued Bridgeport for a casino but was also thwarted when the monopoly was finalized.    Wynn is now talking with Massachusetts officials, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft about building a resort there.   

Site of proposed casino

You can watch the entire flashback, this Sunday morning at 11 on Face the State, only on Channel 3.    UPDATE:  here is the video of the segment  http://www.wfsb.com/video?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=6754756

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