MGM challenges the federal approval of tribal casino deal

MGM sued the Interior Department over its decision to allow the tribes to operate a casino in East Windsor.
MGM sued the Interior Department over its decision to allow the tribes to operate a casino in East Windsor.

The casino company MGM has filed a lawsuit challenging the federal approval that would allow two tribes to build a third casino in Connecticut.

US.- The story of the tribes that want to build a third casino in Connecticut is adding a new chapter. Casino developer MGM filed a lawsuit in Washington D.C. to challenge the federal approval of a deal that would allow the tribes to open that facility.

MGM sued the Interior Department over its decision to allow the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequots to operate a casino in East Windsor. That facility would compete directly with MGM Springfield.

In the lawsuit, MGM argues the Interior Department violates a federal law and blocks MGM from competing on equal terms. The East Windsor facility would not be an off-reservation casino. However, it would become the first commercial casino operated by the state’s two federally recognised tribes.

“Interior’s approval decisions establish an unlawful state-conferred monopoly over commercial gaming rights in Connecticut,” MGM said. The company added that a competitive approach would’ve been a better option for the residents of Connecticut.

“An open process would allow the state to evaluate competing proposals and choose the operator that offers the best investment opportunity, creates the most new jobs and economic expansion, and maximizes revenue to the state,” MGM said.

Connecticut’s governor had already tried to stop the East Windsor project

Governor Ned Lamont wanted two Connecticut tribes to drop their plans for an East Windsor casino and focus on Hartford. Such a proposal was part of a major deal to transform gambling in Connecticut, but the tribes won’t take it.

“They are not willing to walk away from the Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor,” MMCT spokesman Andrew Doba said. “(It’s) a project where they’ve invested nearly US$20 million.”

The state governor wants to push for sports betting without litigation between MGM and the MMCT over East Windsor.

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