CT lawmakers held a public hearing on gambling Tuesday. However, it turned into a heated debate between Eastern Connecticut representatives and those from Bridgeport. In fact, the topic of their fight is the potential casino in Park City.
Lawmakers heard hours of testimony on four gambling bills on sports betting, online gambling, and casinos. Senator Cathy Osten accused lawmakers from Bridgeport of attempting to steal jobs from her district by filing a bill allowing the state to build a commercial casino in the city.
According to gambling news, Osten’s district has two tribal casinos run by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, respectively. She said that the bill will be detrimental to the economy of her district.
Representative Chris Rosario of Bridgeport said that his city is not taking jobs from existing casinos. In addition, he said that the new commercial casino will solve the lack of jobs in the city. The best pay per head bookie agrees with the lawmaker.
Rosario said that 15 years ago, the CT lawmakers failed Bridgeport when they voted against the casino. He shared that his mother wanted to get a job there to improve their financial status. Since there was no casino, she had to work three jobs. Also, she can’t get a union job.
Osten said she started working when she was just 14 years old as the oldest of seven kids. Also, she didn’t have a union job. She described the Bridgeport lawmaker’s testimony as an attack on Eastern Connecticut.
Representative Ezequiel Santiago from Bridgeport was offended by Osten’s statements. She told bookie pay per head providers that the Bridgeport delegation only wants to generate paying jobs for their constituents. After the hearing, a representative from Eastern Connecticut apologized to the Bridgeport lawmakers for Osten’s comments.
Representative Joe Verrengia, chair of the committee, reprimanded Osten for interrupting and speaking out of turn. He reminded the representative to be respectful to her colleagues.