HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Some Connecticut lawmakers are pitching an idea to expand gambling in the state to stem the tide of lost jobs and gambling revenue.

Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff told WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau that both major tribal casinos in Connecticut — Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods — are strongly in favor of setting up slots and gaming tables near the state’s borders to attract Connecticut residents who now cross the line to gamble.

“We have lost about 8,500 jobs since 2006 because other states around us have put in casinos or other types of gambling, and those jobs are righfully ours,” said Duff, D-Norwalk.

“Back in 2004, there were 29 casinos in the Northeast — 12 were located in Atlantic City,” he said. “Now there are are 64 casinos located in the Northeast, which is why we’re seeing this movement away from the eastern Connecticut casinos.”

Duff said some of the new gaming sites could be set up in Fairfield County.

Some lawmakers are said to be less than thrilled about the possibility of expanded gambling.

In November, Sen. Andrea Stillman, who strongly opposes casino expansion, told Schneidau that because of the Massachusetts casinos — as well as gambling in Yonkers, New York — Connecticut has nearly reached the saturation point.

Stillman, D-Waterford, said if there is increased access to gambling in Connecticut, then a study needs to be done at least every five years to ensure the proper programs are in place for those who need them.

A public hearing on expanded gaming is set for next week in Hartford.

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