• The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes have already invested $20 million dollars in a joint venture to construct a casino in East Windsor, Connecticut.
  • MGM owns a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts that is located less than 20 miles from East Windsor.
  • CT Governor Ned Lamont proposed giving the tribes the exclusive rights to operate sports betting in CT, a casino in Bridgeport, and the XL Center in Hartford in exchange to cease construction of an East Windsor casino.

HARTFORD, Conn. – The battle over a proposed casino in East Windsor, Connecticut reached a new level this week. MGM Resorts has now filed a lawsuit challenging the federal government’s approval of the joint venture between the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes.

MGM Resorts argument is based on their belief that the Department of the Interior’s involvement creates an unfair and unlawful advantage for the tribes when trying to fight for casino rights in areas that aren’t within tribal boundaries.

“MGM Resorts is filing this lawsuit because the Interior Departments decisions violate established federal law and prevent MGM from competing on equal terms in Connecticut,” the company said in a statement.

MGM Resorts also owns a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts which is located only 20 miles from East Windsor. If a third tribal casino were to be built at that location, it would directly compete with MGM’s Springfield property.

The company has threatened to take legal action in the past, which is why CT Governor Ned Lamont was apprehensive to approve any bills that would give the tribes the ability to build their proposed casino in East Windsor.

Earlier this week, Governor Lamont proposed that the tribes cease operations to build a casino in East Windsor in exchange for exclusive rights to retail and mobile sports betting in CT, a Bridgeport casino, and the XL Center in Hartford.

However, MGM is also competing with the tribes to open a casino in Bridgeport and the tribes have already invested $20 million in their East Windsor project.

“We’re looking at a global solution – looking at sports betting, online gaming, extended liquor hours, casinos in Bridgeport, casinos in Harford, and we’re trying to wrap it all into one conversation,” said Rodney Butler, Mashantucket Pequot tribal chairman to the Harford Courant during the state’s legislative session. “It’s complicated.”

The tribes ultimately would not budge and rejected the Governor’s proposal. The latest lawsuit only further complicates the future of Connecticut’s gaming industry and their rollout of legal sports betting.

A bill giving the CT legislature the ability to come up with sports betting regulations was passed in 2017 before the federal ban on sports wagering was repealed. Since that law was repealed, sports betting in CT has been extremely contentious and is now being used as leverage in overall gaming negotiations.

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