Connecticut tribes counting up votes on bill for one more casino

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Chairman Rodney Butler, left, and Mohegan Tribe Chairman Kevin Brown. Photo from CT Jobs Matter

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe are pushing for final passage of a bill that paves the way for one more gaming facility.

The Connecticut Senate passed Senate Bill 1090 last week. It awaits action in the House and the tribes are marshaling support for the measure.

"We are ready with a plan to keep customers here, and preserve the jobs Connecticut would otherwise lose," Mashantucket Chairman Rodney Butler and Mohegan Chairman Kevin Brown said in an opinion published in The Norwich Bulletin.

The bill creates a two-step process for the new casino. The tribes will first solicit proposals for a public process and will then return to the Legislature for final approval with a host community.

"This two-step process will give our tribes the ability to move forward to identify a site and gain local approvals while we work with the attorney general to ensure that rights of the state and the tribes are protected," the tribal leaders said.

The bill doesn't specify a location for the new facility but the tribes are looking at sites near the Massachusetts border. MGM Resorts International is building a $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, just a few miles from the state line.

The legislative session ends on June 3. Lawmakers believe the bill come up for a vote before then, the Bulletin reported.

Get the Story:
Tribal officials unsure of casino bill's fate (The Norwich Bulletin 5/28)
Connecticut Casino Bill to Advance in Senate by June 3 (Casino News Daily 5/28)

An Opinion from Tribal Leaders:
Kevin Brown and Rodney Butler: Tribal chairmen: State's two-step approach on new casino was right move (The Norwich Bulletin 5/28)

Another Opinion:
Bobby Soper: It's Not Better To Do Nothing About Mass. Casinos (The Hartford Courant 5/26)

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