The saga related to the East Windsor tribal casino construction in Connecticut managed to enter a new stage this Saturday with the help of the 58-page ruling of Judge Rudolph Contreras of the US District Court of the District of Columbia. As a result of it, it was established that the Mashantucket Pequot Native American tribe does not have the authority to push forward amendments to the gambling arrangement of the tribal operator.
Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has the legal authority to revise Connecticut’s current agreement under which the Mashantucket Pequot Native American tribe operates. Back in 2017 attention was brought to the existing arrangement of both tribes operating Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun.
Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, as well as Rep. Joe Courtney came to the conclusion that the state should give more clarity to its position on the amended language in the compact between the tribes and the state of Connecticut to allow a third casino.
Tribal Casino Project Recent Development
Even though the proposed third casino venue would be jointly operated by the two tribes managing the aforementioned facilities, their revenues should not be negatively impacted by this. The Native American tribes operate under the agreement arranged back in 1990 and stated in the compacts – they pay 25 percent of the revenue amassed by slots to the state of Connecticut.
For the time being, casino plans are stalling and only the approval of Chairman Zinke has the potential to propel them forward.
— Spencer Allan Brooks (@SpencerSays) June 13, 2018
With Saturday’s ruling the Judge also gave his permission for the scraping of the ongoing lawsuit. In addition to that, from now on rival casino developer and operator MGM Resorts would have the power to take actions, if the state of Connecticut or the Native American tribe decide to voice their discontent with the measure. This news comes as a significant blow to the tribes, as the recently launched MGM Springfield is already jeopardizing Connecticut’s casino venues’ revenue.
Casino Anticipates Gaming Permit
It is no secret to anyone that the joint venture among Mashantucket Pequot tribe and the Mohegan tribe which has been in the plans for the past several years is a tangled topic. The tribes have been working towards receiving a gaming permit from the state without the mandatory bidding process, but as it turns out their efforts were nixed.
This places the tribes in an unfavorable position, as MGM Springfield operating in neighboring Massachusetts is already raking up impressive revenue. This inevitably leads to the attraction of casino patrons from the tribes’ player pool which could be battled with the introduction of a casino venue built outside of the tribal reservations.
Connecticut residents might also prefer the location as their future workplace, potentially harming the local casino field. Earlier in August, the two tribes announced their plans to break ground on the project this fall. The $400-million project is anticipated to feature a gaming space of 100,000 square feet, able to compete with MGM Springfield’s 125,000 square feet of gambling venue.