Hopes that the state of Connecticut may join the number of US states offering legal online gambling may be impacted by a warning from House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz Tuesday that he would not be surprised if the legislature takes no action this year on expanded gambling.
Aresimowicz noted that the General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn on May 9, and lawmakers are battling over competing interests on the future of gambling in the state.
“I don’t know that we’re going to finish anything up this session,’’ Aresimowicz told reporters Tuesday at the state Capitol. “We need to figure out what’s the best for the state of Connecticut, and that always includes our large cities. I would not be surprised’ if nothing happens this year.”
The Speaker is currently campaigning to initiate a broader overall study on all forms of gambling, including online gambling, sports wagering and fantasy leagues.
“There’s a lot of moving parts, and not to have a comprehensive plan makes it more difficult,’’ Aresimowicz said. “I’m not sure where it lands. It’s a work in progress.’’
Connecticut faces declining revenue from tribal casinos operated by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. The money from the two tribes peaked in the 2007 fiscal year at $430 million and has been dropping ever since. The state is expected to collect a projected $267 million in the current fiscal year, but that number is projected to drop slightly below $200 million when the Springfield casino by MGM opens in the fall.