Connecticut tribes clear legislative hurdle to build East Windsor casino

TAGs: connecticut, East Windsor

The Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans have notched another victory in their campaign to build a first tribal casino on non-tribal land in Connecticut.

Connecticut tribes clear legislative hurdle to build East Windsor casinoOn Monday, the Associated Press reported that members of the House of Representatives voted 118-32 approving the amended compacts and memoranda of understanding between the state of Connecticut and the two federally recognized tribes.

Signed by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy and the tribal leaders, the revised agreements will make sure that the entertainment and casino gaming facility that the tribes want to build in East Windsor will not compromise the state’s existing revenue-sharing agreements with the tribes.

The amended compacts will now proceed to the Senate and the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs for approval.

Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes are planning to convert a former movie theater complex in East Windsor into a $300 million casino via its joint venture, the MMCT Venture.

MGM sought to stop the tribes from starting the construction of their casinos and keep Connecticut’s gambling money from flowing across state lines to MGM Springfield, which is scheduled to open across the border in Massachusetts in 2018. However, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld the Connecticut judge’s dismissal of the MGM lawsuit on grounds that the casino company had no standing to sue over the 2015 law, which formalized a process for the tribal nations to seek a town willing to host a casino.

The tribes also scored another win in June after Malloy signed Public Act 17-89, which authorizes the operation of an entertainment and casino gaming facility in East Windsor. Under the legislation, the state will receive a $1 million initial payment from the joint venture as well as 25 percent of the gross gaming revenue from the casino’s video facsimile games and another 25 percent of GGR from all other authorized games.

The legislation gives Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection oversight, licensing and regulation over the East Windsor development and any other casino project in the state in the future. The costs of regulatory oversight will be borne by MMCT, according to the state.


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