Connecticut tribes welcome delay in commercial casino project

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

Connecticut's two federally-recognized tribes are moving forward with plans for a new casino amid delays from a commercial competitor in neighboring Massachusetts.

Senate Bill 1090 creates a two-step process for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe to open a new facility. Mashantucket Chairman Rodney Butler said a request for proposals from interested communities should be going out soon.

"They've all been very, very supportive from the onset," Butler said on Fox CT, referring to three communities that are already interested in hosting a casino.

After the proposals are considered through a public process, the next step would be to seek legislative approval of the casino. The tribes anticipate going back to lawmakers early next year.

"We want to be able to go back to the Legislature with a plan," added Mohegan Chairman Kevin Brown said on Fox CT.

The New England Casino Race: Tribal and commercial gaming facilities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island

The tribes have pitched the new casino as a way to compete with Massachusetts. MGM Resorts International is building a $800 million casino in downtown Springfield, just a few miles from the state line.

Construction began in April and MGM anticipated an opening in the fall of 2017. But the company is now asking for approval to open in September 2018, a development welcomed by the tribes.

"This just gives us the leverage .. to get a shovel in the ground before they do," Brown said on Fox CT.

Get the Story:
The Real Story: Casinos prep for competition (Fox CT 6/28)
Connecticut tribes see advantage with MGM casino delay (AP 6/27)
Possible MGM delay could benefit Connecticut casinos (WWLP 6/27)
MGM wants 1-year delay opening Springfield casino (The Boston Herald 6/26)

An Opinion:
Editorial: MGM Springfield casino delay unfortunate, but has logic (The Springfield Republican 6/27)

Related Stories
Mashantucket Tribe wins local vote for casino in Massachusetts (06/24)
Connecticut governor signs measure for another tribal casino (6/23)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe can't stop non-Indian gaming facility (06/19)
Connecticut tribes report flat or declining slot machine revenues (06/16)
Connecticut governor to sign measure for one more tribal casino (06/08)
David Collins: Connecticut tribes keep gaming dollars at home (6/18)
Connecticut tribes report flat or declining slot machine revenues (6/16)
Connecticut governor to sign measure for one more tribal casino (6/8)
Editorial: No guarantee of success for new casino in Connecticut (6/1)
Bill for one more tribal casino in Connecticut sent to governor (5/29)
Connecticut tribes counting up votes on bill for one more casino (5/28)
Tribes hail movement on bill for one more casino in Connecticut (5/21)

Join the Conversation