Non-Indian gaming firm asks Congress to block new tribal casino

MGM Resorts International broke ground on its commercial casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, in March 2015. The facility is due to open in the fall of 2018. Photo from MGM

MGM Resorts International has been lobbying Congress in hopes of preventing two tribes in Connecticut from opening a new casino, The Hartford Courant reports.

The non-Indian firm, which generated about $9.8 billion in revenue in 2013, sought anti-casino language in a defense bill earlier this year, the paper said. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) fought the effort.

"Frankly, it was so clearly a self-interested ploy by MGM," Blumenthal told the paper. "There's nothing wrong with trying, but that doesn't mean the U.S. Senate should be a means to gambling profits."

The company indeed has kept trying, prompting the National Indian Gaming Association to warn the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs about the effort.

"It would be unprecedented for Congress to limit these opportunities for tribal governments," Chairman Ernie Stevens wrote in the June 1 letter to the leaders of the committee, The Courant reported.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe are pursuing the casino outside of the framework of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. They have yet to select a host community and would need approval from the Connecticut Legislature to move forward.

The tribes hope the new casino will compete with a $950 million commercial facility that MGM is opening in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. The site is just a few miles from the Connecticut border.

Get the Story:
MGM Brings Concerns Over Mohegan-Mashantucket Pequot Venture To Congress (The Hartford Courant 6/22)

Join the Conversation

Related Stories
Connecticut tribes report increases from slot machine revenues (05/17)
Connecticut tribes delay decision on potential casino until 2017 (04/27)
Connecticut tribes still haven't selected a site for potential casino (4/22)
Fantasy sports bill in doubt due to impact on tribes in Connecticut (4/19)
Connecticut tribes report declines in revenue from slot machines (4/15)
Rodney Green: Tribal casino won't stop Connecticut's job losses (4/11)
Tribes in Connecticut see victory with defeat of casino study bill (03/18)
Tribes in Connecticut report increases in slot machine revenues (3/15)
Colin McEnroe: Schaghticoke Tribal Nation loses in big casino fight (3/14)
Connecticut tribes oppose further study of proposed third casino (3/10)
Connecticut tribes continue looking at sites for potential casino (02/24)
Connecticut tribes might face roadblock in plan for new casino (2/19)
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation sees gaming revenue gains (2/12)
Tribes in Connecticut still working on process for potential casino (2/9)
Don Vaccaro: Connecticut tribes need another casino to compete (2/1)
Airport touts hotel as spot for new tribal casino in Connecticut (1/28)
Opinion: Connecticut puts too much focus on a new tribal casino (1/21)
Connecticut tribes see mixed results in slot machine revenues (1/15)
Site identified as potential location for tribal casino in Connecticut (1/6)
Tribes in Connecticut delay decision on host for potential casino (1/5)