Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and the federal government see eye-to-eye when it comes to authorizing the state’s first casino off tribal land.
NBC Connecticut reported that the federal government is likely to give its blessing to the multi-billion casino project of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes in East Windsor after Department of the Interior secretary Ryan Zinke was seen speaking at an event held at the state’s Mohegan Sun Casino.
This is bad news for MGM Resorts, which is set to open its multi-billion gambling facility in Springfield, just a short drive away from East Windsor.
Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown claimed that Malloy and the federal government are on the same boat when it comes to a third casino in Connecticut.
“It was really monumental to see the state of Connecticut’s Governor Dannel Malloy stand with the secretary of the interior particularly in the shadow of this agreement that we’ve struck with the state to build a third casino,” Brown said.
Adding to the vote of confidence in favor of the East Windsor casino project is Zinke’s attendance at the tribal event, which Brown hopes will provide a guide for the future of the third casino.
“Governor Malloy and Secretary Zinke had a very fulsome conversation that identified and recognized the respect that the federal government has for our relationship with the state of Connecticut and they support what we’re doing with the state of Connecticut,” Brown said.
The tribes are now just waiting for Malloy’s signature on the state’s recently passed legislation before they start building the casino. Since there is no tribal land in East Windsor, it would become the state’s first commercial casino.
Malloy is expected to sign the bill, especially when he thinks that the legislation and legal reasoning behind the proposed East Windsor are all sound.
“Without the advisory opinion from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to begin with, I don’t think the legislature would have sent that package to me and so you know I think those two things are very much linked,” Malloy said.