Two of the biggest tribes in Connecticut have been working hard to open a new East Windsor casino. Recently, Governor Ned Lamont proposed a new gambling expansion proposal that would give the tribes the right to own a casino in Bridgeport. The tribes are now rejecting this proposal.
There’s a lot going on in this state. Now is the perfect time to look at why these tribes are working towards East Windsor, and what lawmakers in the state are proposing. Let’s get into it!
Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes Aren’t Backing Down
For years, these two tribes have been working to open a new satellite casino in East Windsor, Connecticut called the Tribal Winds Casino. It was approved in 2017, yet many legal hurdles are needed to overcome before a gambling venue can open its doors here. Firstly, East Windsor is not on sovereign land.
A number of politicians and casino companies have argued that allowing a casino here is against the laws. Because it’s not located on tribal land, it would be considered a commercial casino. As of now, Connecticut only allows casinos run by tribes and located on tribal lands.
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes have already invested millions into this project.
MGM Resorts continues to delay this casino. The company has used its lobbying power to argue in court. Officials in this company claim that by allowing the Tribal Winds Casino to open in East Windsor, the state is legalizing commercial gambling without voter consent. MGM currently operates the region’s largest casino, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Some are also arguing that the state failed to hold a bidding process for the casino. Under Connecticut law, a bid must be held for companies looking to open a new casino. This week, Governor Lamont has given the tribes a new option.
Tribes Still Working to Open an East Windsor Casino
Connecticut’s Governor has agreed to a new gambling expansion plan. Hope is that it would satisfy both the tribes and MGM. Under the plan, the two tribes have permission to open a new casino in Bridgeport.
This new bill also allows the tribes to offer sports betting odds. There’s even a chance for the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to take control of the XL Center Arena in Hartford. Unfortunately, the new plan is being rejected.
The tribes are doubling down on their plan to open an East Windsor casino. Andrew Doba, a spokesperson for both tribes, recently commented on the decision to reject Lamont’s new plan.
“They are not willing to walk away from the Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor, a project where they’ve invested nearly $20 million,” he said.
There’s clearly a roadblock in the way. The tribes are remaining committed to the casino in East Windsor while lawmakers offer new alternatives. Negotiations are scheduled to take place again later this week. Hope is that both parties come to at least some form of an agreement.
Online Gambling Continues to Grow in Connecticut
The US online gambling industry is growing more popular each month. More and more states are beginning to embrace this industry and some have chosen to regulate it. Today, there are a huge number of great online casinos in Connecticut, yet none are regulated by the state government.
Fortunately, most of these websites provide a wide range of safe payment options and more games that some of the country’s top land-based casinos. It’s likely that within the next few years, Connecticut will choose to regulate internet casino gaming.
Land-based gambling is still very popular in Connecticut. Tribes recognize this and are working hard to open the East Windsor casino. We’ll need to wait and see how negotiations go this week before any progress is made.
Stay tuned for updates on this situation over the next few weeks!