Tribes meet to discuss new casino development

(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — What would the ramifications be of building a third casino in Connecticut?

Leaders of the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes met in Hartford to discuss just that. The two tribes want to build a casino closer to the Massachusetts border so they can compete with an MGM casino being built in Springfield.

They argue that another casino would save jobs in Connecticut. “This third casino will help us retain jobs. We do business with over 1,700 vendors throughout the state of Connecticut located in all 169 towns and municipalities in the state,” said Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe.

Some lawmakers want to see a study of gambling’s impact on the state, but the argument goes beyond jobs. The Schaghitcoke Tribal Nation, which has the backing of MGM has filed a lawsuit.

It’s argued that it is unconstitutional to give exclusive rights to open a third casino to “just” the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots. They argue that the business venture should be open to everyone.

“I recognize that the two tribes are a sovereign nation, but once they left their reservation, it became a commercial enterprise, and we feel if they are going to expand it to commercial, we would have the same opportunity that they would. Not to do so would be unconstitutional,” said Richard Velky of the Schaghitcoke Tribal Nation.

Right now, no location has been picked yet to build a third casino.

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