Connecticut Tribes Granted Approval To Construct Casino in East Windsor
Two federally-recognized tribes have triumphed in obtaining approval to open a joint casino venture in Connecticut. This marks the first time that a tribal casino will be established on non-tribal land in the state.
The Amended Tribal-State Contracts
On Monday, the Connecticut House approved changes to the tribal compacts between the state and the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans. These amendments would allow the tribes to open a co-op gaming facility in the town of East Windsor, which is not home to reservation land.
With a majority of support, lawmakers passed the amended compacts in a 118-32 vote. The revised pact between the state and the two tribes will add the East Windsor casino to the preexisting agreements.
Though the details of the revenue-sharing agreement for the proposed casino have not been ironed out, one of the main purposes of the revision was to ensure that the East Windsor casino will not negatively impact the current revenue-sharing agreements that each tribe has with the state.
The modified compacts were signed by tribal leaders and Governor Dannel P. Malloy the week prior.
What To Expect At The East Windsor Casino
At the end of June, Gov. Malloy signed Public Act 17-89 which gives the consent for a casino facility to be built in East Windsor. The Act specifically authorizes the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes to own and operate the casino via their joint MMCT Venture.
The legislation requires a $1 million upfront payment from the tribes, along with 25% of gross gaming revenue from all slot machines and authorized casino games.
In signing Public Act 17-89, Malloy stated that the law “is about jobs for the residents of Connecticut, and securing those jobs in our state.” Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are the only two existing casinos in the CT, which together employ over 9,000 people. The new casino is expected to create 1,200 additional jobs for the community.
The tribes plan to transform what was a former movie theater complex into a $300 million casino that will prevent potential CT gaming revenue from going to Massachusetts casinos. MGM Springfield, which filed suit against the tribes in an attempt to halt construction, will be opening a MA casino in 2018.
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