The USA Department of the Interior will not change its position regarding the revenue-share agreement between Connecticut and the casino operators, no matter if the expansion of the gaming industry in Connecticut is approved or not.
The presidential administration explained that the slots share-agreement between Connecticut and the tribal casino operators of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun remains unchanged. Many people considered that the change of the administration will lead to change in the rules, especially having in mind that Donald Trump, the current President of America, is a former casino-owner. But according to a letter to the Chairmen of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes, this is only a misconception based on no grounds.
James E. Cason, the Deputy Secretary of the Interior, expressed the position of the department, without leaving any place for possible speculations. He totally backed up the opinion, presented in the letter, but he refused any rumours that the letter is an unofficial approval of the casino expansion. He added that the legislature needs firstly to decide if the tribal operators will be supported, or other casino operators will be given a green light.
The slot agreement between Connecticut and the tribal casino operators regulate the percentage of the slot machines revenue, estimated to be 25% from the overall slot income, which goes to the state. In return, the tribal casino operators are allowed to run gambling facilities in their reservations in the state.
Therefore, the expansion of the gaming industry in Connecticut is viewed as a threat to the agreement between the state and the tribal casino operators.
By stipulating that the state will continue to receive its 25% revenue on all slot machines no matter if new casino operators are allowed in the state or not, the department paved the way for tribal resentment. This, on the other hand, led to the response of the tribal casino operators, who see this act as a violation of their right. Kevin Brown, the Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, explained that the tribes did the hard work so far and he appealed the legislators to support them.
The opening of a new casino in Connecticut will definitely contribute to the decrease of the number of players, who attend the tribal casinos. The expansion of the gaming industry appears to be one of the most discussed and controversial issues.
After all, it was admitted that the casino plays an integral role in the country’s economy. There are concerns and fears that the expansion of the casino industry in Connecticut may be destructive to the agreement between the state and the tribal casino operators. This may affect the state’s revenues having in mind that up to now the local government reaps 25% on the slot machines income from the tribal casino operators.
On the other hand, by supporting the casino expansion, the government will ensure competence between the casinos in the state and will earn from the bidding process of the companies, who will strive for the right to establish a casino namely in Connecticut. In both cases, the department is walking on thin ice, because in both cases the possible outcomes can be either destructive or positive.