QU students split on building new Conn. casino

By on March 4, 2004

The Connecticut-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation was granted federal recognition this month by the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs. The tribe, which has its headquarters in the town of Kent, is looking at several sites in the state to build a casino.

Quinnipiac University students interviewed were split about whether or not another casino would be good for the state.

Connecticut already has two casinos, but Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, which are both owned by Native American tribes, are located in the southeastern corner of the state. The Schaghticokes are interested in building a casino in southwestern Connecticut.

“This state already has two casinos, we don’t need more,” Allison Schleck, a Spanish and political science major, said. “If people want to gamble, they have the option of going to the other two casinos.”

Proponents of another casino believe it will help the economy. Michael Fazzolari, a resident of Rockville Centre, N.Y., feels the location of the potential new casino, being closer to the New York border, will make it a more attractive option to New York state residents.

“I think it would be good,” Fazzolari, a computer information systems major, said. “More people would come up from New York to gamble and that will put more money into the economy.”

While a new casino would create new jobs, some students feel it will take money away from local businesses and do damage to the state’s economy.

“It wouldn’t be beneficial to the state of Connecticut,” David Scott, of Meriden, Conn., said. “It will be taking revenue away from the state and giving it to the Native Americans.”

According to the Connecticut Post, the Schaghticokes have looked at sites in Bridgeport, Oxford, Waterbury, North Haven and the former Union Carbide facility in Danbury.

Many students expressed concerns about the potential traffic problems that could come with another casino. Traffic is already a major problem on Interstates 84 and 95; a new casino might make the situation even worse for drivers.

“Another casino in Connecticut wouldn’t necessarily be a horrible thing, but in this case it would be because of the location,” Matt Janik, a broadcast journalism major, said. “The Danbury area is already plagued by traffic problems, and this wouldn’t help at all.”

The Schaghticokes, who were denied recognition in December of 2002, are not the only tribe in Connecticut that may receive recognition from the BIA this season. Two other tribes from the state, including the Golden Hill Paugussetts, have submitted applications for recognition.


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