The tribal casino that was supposed to be Connecticut’s next biggest hit in terms of revenue has just flopped.
It has reached out ears that a federal government judge has completely refused the project stating that the federal government had no interest in the project and most of all were under no obligation to approve it. A shocker to the players, investors and project managers combined.
It has been announced by the Judge (Rudolph Contreras from the Columbia District Court), that the plaintiffs Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, along with their parent state Connecticut, were not able to convince the judge nor the jury of the importance of a Casino on tribal lands. The DOI (Department of the Interior) has denied their request.
The project was made by the tribal partners, it entailed the creation of a new slots-only gaming hall in East Windsor. East Windsor is close to the border with Massachusetts. Why we’re telling you this? Well, because it is directly tied to why the parties wanted to build the Casino. You see there is an almost $1 billion MGM Resorts venue stationed in Massachusetts, called MGM Springfield and it has been operating for nearly a month. Therefore the parties wanted by opening up this casino to keep all the revenue of gambling within the state, rather than disperse it in MGM’s place.
Was this the end?
The parties didn’t give up so easily, so they contacted the BIA which stands for the DOI’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. Unfortunately, in the beginning, the BIA was not able to respond to the request that was sent to them by the tribes. In the request, it stated that the parties required assistance in amending their gaming compacts with the state. The BIA answered in May but not to the Mashantucket Pequots, but to the Mohegans and greenlit their amendment.
The deal with the Mashantucket Pequot wasn’t compact, it was created with secretarial procedures, which made it not as important or demanding as the Mohegan deal. But by no means does the DOI’s approval mean that they changed their minds about the whole ordeal. The coldheartedness of the DOI was felt by the tribes, who refused to go down without a fight, so a lawsuit was born. The tribes are accusing the DOI of disregarding the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA).
MGM in who’s the best interest it is to have the tribes’ plans thwarted was delighted to issue out statements about the decision being fair and honest, praising the judges and jury for their thorough and professional work. It is also believed that MGM has spent quite a large sum on legal and lobbying fees in order to have the joint project fail.
In order to not look super shady, MGM announced that a casino on tribal lands was disrespectful to their cultures and suggested that it could build one with ease in Bridgeport, a place it deemed more suitable for a place like a casino.