Artist's rendering of a proposed casino to be jointly operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe in East Windsor, Connecticut. Image: Teeton Architects / CT Jobs Matter
Casino Stalker | Compacts | Legislation

Connecticut tribes hope to break ground on new casino in the fall

It came down to the wire but the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe succeeded in getting lawmakers in Connecticut to authorize a new casino.

"We're off and running," Mohegan Chairman Kevin Brown told The Hartford Courant, a day after lawmakers gave final approval of S.B.957.

Brown said the tribes hope to start work on their jointly-operated casino this fall. If that timetable sticks, the new facility could be open before the end of 2018.

"We'll get it open as close to MGM's opening as possible," Mashantucket Chairman Rodney Butler told The New London Day, referring to the anticipated debut of a $950 million commercial casino in neighboring Massachusetts in September 2018.

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

The tribes chose their site in East Windsor in order to compete with the MGM facility in downtown Springfield, Massachusetts. The two cities are only about 13 miles apart.

The tribes don't need federal approval for the casino because it won't be located on Indian lands. But they are going to ask the Bureau of Indian Affairs to confirm that the new development doesn't affect their existing gaming rights.

As of Friday morning, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) had not yet signed S.B.957 into law.

Read More on the Story:
Casino Backers Hope Construction Will Start In Fall (The Hartford Courant 6/8)
Tribal chairmen say they won't be deterred by threats of litigation (The New London Day 6/8)

Some Opinions:
Editorial: Voting to protect jobs, now the legal fight (The New London Day 6/8)
Kevin Rennie: Session Ends, All We Got Was A Casino (The Hartford Courant 6/8)

Related Stories:
Lawmakers in Connecticut approve bill for tribal gaming facility (June 6, 2017)
Tribes face deadline in bid for new gaming facility in Connecticut (June 1, 2017)