MGM Lawsuit Against CT Tribes Could Soon Be Dismissed

MGM Resorts International is currently in a heated legal fight with several Native American Tribes in Connecticut. The major casino company believes these tribes are close to holding a monopoly over the state’s casino market. This week, the US Interior Department asked for the MGM lawsuit against CT tribes to be dismissed.

Flag Of Connecticut

Today, we’re going to look at why exactly this lawsuit is taking place. We’re also going to talk about the Interior Department’s new opinion of this legal battle. Let’s get into it.

Connecticut’s Laws on Casino Gambling

Connecticut is a small state and one that’s not typically thought of as a major gambling destination. Interestingly, some of the biggest casino-resorts in the world are based here. These casinos are hugely popular and help to bring the state millions of dollars in revenue every year.

For many years, very few wagering options were available in this state. In 1983, lawmakers here approved a state lottery. Charity gambling was also legalized. Special rules were also made on bingo gambling. This game could be wagered on for $1 as long as the maximum prize does not exceed $5.

In 1988, the US government approved the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. This allows Native American Tribes to operate casinos on sovereign land. Two years prior to this law, the Mashantucket Pequot tribe opened a bingo hall on their land. By 1993, this gambling venue had slots and table games available to patrons.

Connecticut is now home to two major casino-resorts. Both are among the biggest in the world.

There are no laws in this state that explicitly ban online casino gambling. Many different online casinos in CT are now available, most of which offer a wide range of different gambling options.

MGM Lawsuit Against CT Tribes, Explained

MGM Resorts International owns many casinos all over the country. One of their top gambling destinations is in Springfield, Massachusetts. This company has recently taken legal action against the US Interior Department, the group who they believe is violating federal law and giving the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans an “unlawful state-conferred monopoly” on casino gambling in Connecticut.

Initially, MGM accused Connecticut of constitutional violations. The company felt the state’s no-bid approval of an East Windsor casino was made to purposely compete with MGM Springfield. The MGM lawsuit against CT tribes is now aimed at stopping the state from approving any additional casinos in the future.

“The amendments are not limited to an East Windsor casino: they facilitate commercial, off-reservation gaming by the tribal joint venture anywhere in Connecticut, and state legislators have recently proposed granting the joint venture an exclusive, no-bid license to operate a casino in Bridgeport, Connecticut,” the suit says. “The amendments thus confer a statewide, perpetual competitive advantage on the joint venture.”

Many individuals in Connecticut began pushing against this lawsuit. Several groups believe that MGM is simply trying to bully the state into submission.

This week, the US Interior Department officially requested for this lawsuit to be dismissed.

Interior Department Fights Against MGM Lawsuit

Officials in Connecticut were not going to bend to MGM’s will without putting up a fight. Andrew Doba, a spokesperson for the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations partnership behind the East Windsor plan, commented on the lawsuit to the media last month.

“The choice for Connecticut policymakers can’t get any clearer,” Doba said. “We can either let a Las Vegas company that generates not one dime of revenue for the state push us around, or we can stand strong with the tribes and an industry that’s generated more than $8 billion in tax revenue and currently employs 18,000 people.”

The US Interior Department has now requested for the MGM lawsuit against CT tribes to be dismissed. The government body claims MGM is using “inapplicable legal requirements.” We’ll need to wait and see if a federal judge approves the Interior Department’s case dismissal.

The MGM lawsuit against CT tribes isn’t the only legal case this company is involved in. Recently, MGM Resorts agreed to a settlement with victims of the Las Vegas shooting.

Stay tuned for more Connecticut gambling news over the next few months!

Connecticut Governor Delays Tribal Casino Support

Bridgeport, Connecticut is a town that could potentially become the next big casino place, but that will not happen in the near future, according to the Governor of Connecticut, Ned Lamont. Lamont stated that he was supportive of a plan to build casinos which would be owned by two Native American tribes, but he added that the legislation that would enable the casinos to be built would not be ready in 2019. In other words, the tribes will have to wait for a year in order to see how things would turn out for them and their casino-related plans.

The Governor was taking part in the Connecticut Conference on Tourism, and before this event had started, he was cornered by a group of journalists who wanted to find out his opinion on the subject. The entire event was actually sponsored by two casino resorts that already exist in Connecticut – Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. Coincidence or not?

Lamont stated for a report published at the Connecticut Mirror that he and his team were trying to ‘get something done.’ However, he added that they were pretty much in race with time and that there was no way to do it ‘in this session.’ Both the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes are holding their hopes high when it comes to building a satellite casino that would probably be the main competition to the MGM Springfield which is an integrated resort that was built close to the border that separates Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Although the Governor refused to give more details about the potential collaboration, he addressed the issue later at his speech, claiming that the state of Connecticut had had a very ‘strong bond and contract’ which had lasted for ‘over a generation.’ He added that he would do everything in his power not to do any harm to that contract, and make it ‘stay intact.’ Finally, Lamont stated that the state and the tribes were ‘working together going forward.’

The lawmakers of Connecticut have already given two thumbs up to a bill that would enable the construction of the casino facility, which would be called Tribal Winds. However, there was a problem with MGM and that seems like a very big obstacle at the moment. MGM actually went on to sue the state of Connecticut, as they claimed that the state authorized commercial gambling illegally by enabling casinos to be built in an area which is not controlled by the tribes.

At the moment, there is a certain stalemate which includes not only the tribes but also MGM, the state of Connecticut and the Department of the Interior. All of these sides have to get involved in this issue in order to solve it as soon as possible. Therefore, when talking about the inability to proceed with the plan in 2019, the Governor of Connecticut actually has the situation mentioned above in mind.

In other words, there will be no gambling expansion that will take place in Connecticut in 2019, and even sports betting expansions are not considered. Lamont expressed his wishes to proceed with the plan as soon as possible, stating that he wanted to apply the global solution and get out of the limbo that they are all currently stuck in. He added that he would love to make a deal with the chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe. One of the other issues that are blocking the further development of casino gambling and sports betting in this state is that the tribes have the complete control over gambling and would likely push for complete control over sports betting as well.