CT Lottery eyes destination gambling sites in Bridgeport – CTPost

December 17, 2021 by No Comments

BRIDGEPORT — The Connecticut Lottery Corporation is considering at least three prominent locations — all adjacent to downtown, the harbor and Interstate 95 — to launch the wagering retail site promised Bridgeport when lawmakers legalized sports betting earlier this year.

Multiple sources said — and Andrew Walter, the Rocky Hill-based Lottery’s director of business and legal affairs for sports betting, confirmed — that the new amphitheater, the entertainment arena and the Steelpointe redevelopment site are in the running. The city owns the first two, privately-managed locations.

“We have spoken with all three,” Walter said, adding, “We haven’t negotiated anything with any party.”

Amphitheater operator Howard Saffan, who built the venue out of Bridgeport’s shuttered minor-league baseball stadium, and a representative for the developers of Steelpointe, the Christoph family, confirmed the Lottery’s interest in their respective locations.

“Obviously we’re honored to be considered,” said Saffan of the amphitheater, which opened in July.

Meanwhile the Bridgeport Islanders — formerly the Sound Tigers — hockey team, long-time tenants of the two-decade-old arena, did not immediately return a request for comment.

The Lottery earlier this month issued a formal solicitation for sports wagering retailers. Ultimately Connecticut will have 15 locations. Nine of those are already assigned through a partnership between the Lottery and Sportech, leaving interested parties to vie for the remaining half-dozen.

“And yes, Bridgeport is a requirement in the legislation so we will be going into Bridgeport. And yes, we’ve had conversations with a number of different entities there,” Walter said. “Some like the amphitheater are a current operational business. Some are more hypothetical in nature.”

Sportech until mid-September ran the now-vacant, Bridgeport-based Winners Shoreline Star off-track horse betting facility that pre-dated the expanded online gaming and sports wagering bill Gov. Ned Lamont signed in May.

Sportech has locations in other areas of the state, however, including Stamford, New Haven and Hartford, either under the Winners branding or Bobby V’s restaurant/sports bar locations.

“One of the attractive features about the Sportech locations is they are already gambling establishments,” Walter said. “So they are built out, they have cashiers (and) appropriate security protocols for handling large amounts of cash. They had a lot of security cameras. Things like that.”

Though vacant for only three months, Shoreline Star has been on the market for a year. And Walter indicated the Lottery itself is not interested in opening …….

Source: https://www.ctpost.com/news/article/CT-lottery-eyes-destination-gambling-sites-in-16708090.php

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