When it comes to gaming, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
and the Mohegan Tribe
didn't have such a great 2018. The Trump administration is to blame for much of that.
The tribes saw five consecutive months of declines in slot machine revenues at their respective casinos, The New London Day reported. At Foxwoods Resort Casino
, owned by the Pequots, revenues fell 8 percent in November 2018 when compared to a year prior, while the Mohegan Sun
saw a 6.8 percent decline, the paper said.
Additionally, the tribes saw declines in their overall revenues for the last fiscal year, the paper reported. At Foxwoods, year-to-year revenues dropped 2.3 percent while the Mohegan Sun saw 1 percent drop.
The declines speak to the growing competition for the gaming market in New England. Last August -- about five months ago -- a non-Indian firm opened a $900 million commercial casino in neighboring Massachusetts
relationship at work? A document obtained by POLITICO could explain why the
Trump administration has failed to approve gaming agreements for two tribes, if
only anyone were able to read the heavily-redacted memo.
The tribes had hoped to address that development by jointly opening a new casino. But the Trump administration held up the project by failing to approve their respective gaming agreements in a timely manner.
Only after the tribes went to court did the Bureau of Indian Affairs
notice of the Mohegan Tribe's agreement in the Federal Register
, about 9 months
later than required by law. The Pequot agreement, however, remains in limbo for reasons that haven't been completely explained.
The issue remains in litigation in federal court and has been the subject of an
ongoing investigation by the Office
of Inspector General at the Department of the Interior
. Former Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke
, who left the Trump administration on January 2, sat for two interviews as part of the inquiry, The Washington Post reported.
But a report has yet to be released publicly, almost 10 months after it was initiated
. That's because the the Department of Justice
picked up on the matter, Indianz.Com reported on December 15
, along with other possible allegations of wrongdoing by Zinke and his political leadership team
That's when Zinke, aware of his possible legal jeopardy, chose to resign. His resignation announcement decried "false allegations" and he denied that he lied during his interviews with the Inspector General, The Associated Press reported.
“It’s an unauthorized leak from an anonymous source over false allegations,” Zinke told the AP.
Zinke's departure leaves Interior in the hands of Deputy Secretary David Bernhardt
, who is now serving as "acting" Secretary of the Interior. President Donald Trump promised to name a replacement last month but has failed to do so. A replacement would need to be confirmed by the Senate.
Meanwhile, back in Connecticut, the tribes are looking for a way around Washington's roadblocks. A bill that could be introduced by state lawmakers would ensure that the delayed casino can move forward without waiting for the BIA to approve the Pequot agreement, The New London Day and The Hartford Courant reported.
Read More on the Story
Bill would authorize sports betting at casinos, online keno at lottery locations
(The New London Day January 7, 2019)
Annual reports: Casino revenues dipped in fiscal ’18
(The New London Day January 6, 2019)
Legislators continue to debate gaming-related issues
(The New London Day January 5, 2018)Zinke denies report that he lied to Interior investigators
(The Associated Press January 4, 2018)
Justice Dept. investigating whether Zinke lied to inspector general
(The Washington Post January 3, 2018)
Grijalva calls for Zinke testimony amid allegations of lying to investigators
(POLITICO January 3, 2018)
Another slide in casinos' year-over-year slots revenues
(The New London Day December 14, 2018)
Foxwoods' slot revenue down five consecutive months
(Hartford Business December 14, 2018)
Lawmakers will make new push to complete East Windsor casino
(The Hartford Courant December 12, 2018)
Join the Conversation
see another decline in slot machine revenues in Connecticut
(November 15, 2018)
reports link Secretary Zinke's criminal woes to tribal gaming
Pequot Tribal Nation seeks to revive gaming lawsuit
(October 17, 2018)Mashantucket
Pequot Tribal Nation sees setback in case against Trump administration
(October 2, 2018)Tribes
see dip in slot machine revenues as rival opens new facility
see decline in slot machine revenues as they await new arrival
and Mohegan tribes report mixed slot machine revenues
(June 19, 2018)Tribes
plan to break ground on long-awaited casino in Connecticut
administration still mum on gaming agreement for Mashantucket Tribe
administration reverses course on tribal gaming agreement in Connecticut
(June 4, 2018)Online
gaming also on the table as Connecticut negotiates with tribes
governor seeks to negotiate sports betting with tribes
(May 22, 2018)Mashantucket
and Mohegan interested in pursuing casinos in Japan
(May 16, 2018)Mohegan
Tribe gains sole ownership of $5 billion gaming project in Korea
firm fighting tribes announces earlier opening date for casino
from Connecticut prompted probe into handling of tribal agreements
welcome probe into Trump administration's handling of gaming agreements
(April 23, 2018)Tribes
still facing legal questions in bid for new casino in Connecticut
administration hit for keeping two tribes in Connecticut in the dark
Tribe on track to complete convention center at casino
finally start demolition at site of delayed casino in Connecticut
still planning to start work on delayed casino in Connecticut
team appears willing to delay tribal casino deal in Connecticut indefinitely
(February 6, 2018)Tribes
ready to start initial work on delayed casino in Connecticut
Interior Secretary Gale Norton lobbies against tribes' casino