A coalition of Connecticut lawmakers wants to expand video gambling in the state (AP – Updated). Stephen Kalin, Associated Press · June 3, 2013 at 4:33 pm HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – A coalition of Democratic state lawmakers wants to expand video gambling in Connecticut to keep jobs and revenue from moving out-of-state. Legislators from Bridgeport, New Haven and Windsor Locks held a news conference at the state Capitol on Monday to discuss “expanding the availability of video gaming” to three pari-mutuel facilities where betting on simulcast races is offered. The establishments include Shoreline Star in Bridgeport, Sports Haven in New Haven and Bradley Tele-Theater in Windsor Locks. Sen. Andres Ayala of Bridgeport, with Reps. Peggy Sayers of Windsor Locks, and Roland Lemar of New Haven, are requesting House Speaker Brendan Sharkey create a task force to study expansion to establishments not run by the tribes. They said video gambling would be a boon for the state and municipalities. “Looking into this type of option means jobs for the area,” Ayala said. “It means increased revenue for the state. It means development.” Video gambling, including video slot machines, is only offered at the state’s two casinos run by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes, which have exclusive rights to offer casino gambling. The lawmakers said new gambling facilities in neighboring Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island are challenging Connecticut’s ability to compete. “We need to look at what we can do in terms of keeping jobs in Connecticut and keeping that funding source that we’ve had in Connecticut,” Sayers said. Former House Speaker James Amann, who represents Shoreline Star, said about 10,000 video slot machines could be installed and that would create up to 300 new jobs in each location. He estimated the expansion would also generate up to $260 million in tax revenue, split between the state, the municipality, the licensing facility and the Indian tribes. Chuck Bunnell, a spokesman for the Mohegans, said the tribal leadership is willing to talk about the state’s interest in expanding video gambling outside the casinos. The initiative comes as the legislature considers a two-year budget proposal that authorizes the Connecticut Lottery Corporation to establish Keno, a lottery-type game, and add 600 lottery terminals to generate revenue. The Mohegans indicated they were interested in a revenue-sharing agreement with the state to permit Keno’s expansion, but Bunnell suggested an agreement on video gambling could be more difficult to negotiate. “The expansion of gaming into the pari-mutuel facilities is very different,” he said. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.