Non-Indian firm wants to join tribes in pursuing new casino in Connecticut

MGM Resorts International broke ground on its commercial casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, in March 2015. Photo from MGM

A non-Indian firm that's building a casino in Massachusetts also wants the chance to pursue a casino in neighboring Connecticut.

But MGM Resorts International claims it is being illegally barred from doing so because Senate Bill 1090, otherwise known as Special Act 15-7, restricts the process to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe. The firm is challenging the law in federal court.

“By virtue of being denied an opportunity to compete on equal footing, MGM is presently injured by the act,” the company's attorneys wrote in a court filing, The New London Day reported. “Indeed, the harm to MGM is only increasing as the preferred tribes are getting further and further ahead in the casino-development process and will have a competitive advantage even if the process is begun anew in a form that allows MGM to participate.”

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

Earlier this year, MGM broke ground on a commercial gaming facility in downtown Springfield, just a few miles from the Massachusetts-Connecticut border. The company said it will spend $950 million on the project, a bug increase from the $800 million estimate.

In hopes of countering the competition, the tribes solicited bids for a new casino through the process created by Special Act 15-7. Four communities submitted a total of five bids and the tibes hope to select a host by December 15, according to the request for proposals. They will then return to the Connecticut Legislature next year to gain approval of the actual facility.

Get the Story:
MGM says tribes 'getting further and further ahead' in Connecticut casino race (The New London Day 12/4)
What's behind MGM Springfield's $150 million jump in costs? (MassLive 12/4)
Casino referendums may be in the cards for East Windsor, Windsor Locks (The New London Day 12/1)
Massachusetts regulators question high costs for MGM casino (AP 12/4)
Rival tribes united in pursuit of third casino (The New London Day 11/29)

Related Stories
Connecticut tribes consider proposals for third gaming facilty (11/25)
Connecticut tribes report declines in slot machine revenues (11/17)
Dan Haar: Tribal casino a bad idea for airport in Connecticut (11/12)
Connecticut tribes receive five proposals for joint casino (11/9)
Former head of DOJ backs non-Indian gaming firm over tribes (10/29)
Connecticut tribes see more interest for joint gaming facility (10/21)
Connecticut tribes await proposals for a new gaming facility (10/14)
Tribes in Connecticut report increases in slot machine revenues (10/12)
Tribes to share in Keno revenues under new deal with Connecticut (10/07)
Connecticut tribes release request for proposals for a new casino (10/1)
Connecticut tribes push to open casino before non-Indian rival (9/28)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe gaming site officially put in trust (9/25)
Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority joins board of national group (9/25)
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe casino ruling stirs shakeup of sorts (9/23)
Comedy venue departs one tribal casino for another in Connecticut (9/21)
Tribes in Connecticut report declines in slot machine revenue (9/15)
Editorial: Tribes in Connecticut unite to address casino threat (9/14)
Tribes formalize partnership for another casino in Connecticut (9/11)

Join the Conversation