Feud in Connecticut over Tribal casino

Connecticut's casino would compete with MGM Springfield.
Connecticut's casino would compete with MGM Springfield.

Through Special Act 15-7, the government allows only Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe of Indian to exploit the gaming sector in non-tribal lands.

US.- Legendary casino brand, MGM, and Schaghticoke Tribal Nation decided to respond to Connecticut’s position against the first casino in the state operated by them. The corporations and investors took the claim to the court as they consider that the act issued a few days ago violates the 14th amendment of the Constitution.

The government, as Dannel Malloy stated, believes that the tribe has no chance of winning due to the fact that Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is not considered yet a tribe under the federal definition. “That’s their problem. They can’t meet that test, but they certainly have the right as any citizen to have an opinion about what everybody else does,” Malloy added. The tribe presented two months ago the documentations to get the license but they were rejected by the Secretary of the State’s office.

Schaghticoke Tribal Nation suggests that this is another way of discrimination they’ve suffered from Connecticut authorities. The lack of recognition as a tribe, they say, is because the state didn’t want a casino in the territory, but then they’ve decided to boost the project whilst eliminating Schaghticoke Tribal’s chance of participating in the license process. Alan Feldman of MGM Resorts International commented: “The state of Connecticut has established a law providing commercial gaming. Under those circumstances, those kinds of licenses shouldn’t be handed out just because somebody has an inside track inside the legislature. There should be a process that’s open, fair and transparent.”

Richard Velky, chief of the tribe, concluded: “Without any competitive bidding or gaming study, Connecticut shut out the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation and awarded to one pair of Native American tribes the exclusive ability to develop a highly-valuable commercial enterprise. Under the Equal Protection clauses of the federal and state Constitutions, the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation should have the same right to pursue this economic opportunity as anyone else.”