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Connecticut - Tribes falling behind on schedule for controversial casino

Artist's rendering of a proposed casino to be jointly operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe in East Windsor, Connecticut. Image: Teeton Architects / CT Jobs Matter Casino Stalker | Compacts | Connecticut | Litigation

Tribes falling behind on schedule for controversial casino in Connecticut 

 

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe remain committed to a new casino in Connecticut despite falling behind on their schedule.

The tribes had hoped to break ground in December and open the jointly operated facility before the end of 2018. Though work has yet to begin, a spokesperson told WTIC Radio that details will be coming soon.

“We’re putting in the time and care necessary for a successful venture,” spokesperson Andrew Doba told WTIC. “This means a lot to both tribes and we want to get it right.”

Part of the reason for the delay can be traced to the Trump administration. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has failed to publish notice of the tribes' updated gaming agreements in the Federal Register, according to a lawsuit pending in federal court.

The tribes do not need federal approval to open the new casino. But publication of the agreements would protect their existing relationship with the state of Connecticut, officials have said.

 

 
The New England Casino Race: Tribal and commercial gaming facilities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island
The tribes are hoping to secure summary judgment in the case soon, The New London Day reported. A decision, though, appears to be at least a couple of months away, based on a schedule agreed to by the parties and approved by a federal judge on January 8.

The lawsuit could also be slowed by the addition of MGM Resorts International to the dispute. The non-Indian firm is seeking to intervene over the objections of the tribes.

MGM has great interest in the outcome because the firm is opening a $950 million commercial casino in neighboring Massachusetts before the end of the year. The site is only about 13 miles from the tribes' site in Connecticut.

 

Read More on the Story:
Tribes: East Windsor Casino Plans Moving Forward (WTIC Radio January 17, 2018)
Mohegan Sun kept $50 million in slots revenue in December (The New London Day January 16, 2018)
Parties to third casino suit file joint motion to modify court schedule (The New London Day January 8, 2018)
Tribes Still Not Ready To Commit To East Windsor Casino Construction Timeline (The Hartford Courant January 6, 2018)