Shaghticoke Tribe suing over casino legislation

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The Connecticut House has approved a bill allowing more off-track betting parlors in an effort to gain approval for legislation authorizing a new tribal casino in East Windsor. The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation says they plan on suing over casino legislation.

Lawmakers voted 77-72 early Wednesday morning in favor of the proposal, which expands the number of off-track betting locations across the state and requires the Department of Consumer Protection to set up a framework for possible sports betting. The bill still needs to be approved by the Senate.

Related: Lawmakers approve new casino for Connecticut, as budget comes down to the wire

Schaghticoke Tribal Nation says “they are profoundly disappointed in the State Legislature’s choice to award a casino monopoly to MMCT, knowing full well this gives Connecticut a substandard deal and leaves hundreds of millions in future revenues on the table. They add that at a time of severe economic hardship, lawmakers should have created an open and competitive process that gave citizens the best possible deal.  Instead they have not only tied Connecticut to an unreliable funding source that has been sinking like a stone in recent years, but also – according to the Attorney General’s March 2017 opinion –  placed the state’s gaming compact in jeopardy.”

Chief Richard Velky with the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation says:

“Connecticut overwhelmingly favors an open process, not a scaled down spoiler casino in East Windsor that can’t possibly create real economic growth. Every potential investor and developer, including STN, should have been allowed to participate to give the state the best possible deal; unfortunately, now that we’ve again been excluded from the process, STN has no alternative but to fight it in the courts where hopefully we will finally receive justice.”

The General Assembly will adjourn its regular session at midnight Wednesday.

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