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
Connecticut | Openings & Closings

Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation questions legality of new casino in Connecticut



The Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation is speaking out against a new casino in Connecticut.

Chairwoman Katherine Sebastian Dring told The New London Day that her tribe was unfairly excluded from the process for the casino. A new state law, known as Special Act 15-7, restricts the development to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe.

“We should not be excluded from any opportunities going forward,” Sebastian Dring told the paper, saying the tribe is considering a lawsuit. “Whether we file suit next month or years from now, we have to do this for future generations.”

The Eastern Pequots are recognized as a sovereign government by the state but not the federal government. When the tribe was pursuing federal recognition, state officials raised the prospect of a third casino as one of the reasons to oppose the bid.

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

Mashantucket and Mohegan leaders pursued the third casino outside of the framework of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act so federal recognition was not a requirement. There appears to be no reason why the state could not have allowed other tribes, like the Eastern Pequots, to pursue the development.

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, also recognized by the state, made similar arguments in questioning why it was excluded from the process.

The Mashantucket-Mohegan casino is to be located in they city of East Windsor. The tribes chose the location because it's only about 13 miles from a $950 million commercial casino going up just across the border in Massachusetts. Both facilities are set to open in late 2018.

Read More on the Story:
Eastern Pequots, long silent on issue, call state's third-casino law 'unconstitutional' (The New London Day August 17, 2017)

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