Senator Kissel Addresses Distribution of Casino Money

December 5, 2002

With the state facing a difficult budget crisis State Senator John A. Kissel (R-Enfield) would like to clarify how revenue generated from Connecticut’s two casinos, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, is distributed to local towns and municipalities.

“There seems to be a misconception among many residents that the state keeps all the casino money and that our local towns and cities do not see any of the revenue,” said Senator Kissel, whose 7th state senatorial district will include East Granby and part of Granby, along with Enfield, Somers, Suffield, Windsor Locks, and part of Windsor, beginning in January. “In fact, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund was created in part to distribute grants directly to towns using casino slot machine revenues paid to the state.”

“The state of Connecticut received over $368 million from the two Indian casinos in fiscal year 2002, $134 million of which was transferred right to the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Fund and then distributed directly to local towns,” continued Senator Kissel. “The 7th Senatorial district received well over $3 million dollars through this program in FY 2002.”

The remaining $234 million was then placed in the state’s General Fund, but as Senator Kissel points out, money from the General Fund is often used to directly help towns through aid for road repairs, local capital improvement projects, and education cost sharing grants.

There are no strings attached to casino money grants to towns and each town can use the money as it sees fit. Casino revenue to towns has generally remained consistent year to year, as well.

“For example, Enfield received over $800,000 in direct casino money in FY 2001 and FY 2002. Despite difficult economic times, a large portion of the casino revenues in Connecticut have gone directly to municipalities, and towns most likely will continue to benefit from these grants well into the future,” concluded Senator Kissel.