During a quarterly conference that took place this Thursday, the Mohegan Tribe’s chairman Kevin Brown announced that the demolition work for Connecticut’s third casino venture is set to commence by the end of this month. The announcement came amid rumors that MGM Resorts may thwart the implementation of the tribal nation’s plan to build a $300 million casino on off tribal plot of land in the northern part of Connecticut.
Yesterday, the Mohegan Tribe’s chairman Kevin Brown announced that Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes are to put the wheels in motion and start paving the way for the construction of their joint casino venture by the end of the month, with the first step being the demolishing of the old cinema. In fact, we have heard this before. Last year, the two tribal nations announced that the demolition work is set to commence by the end of 2017. However, the entire project was delayed due to myriad legislative hurdles and challenges.
Connecitcut’s Joint Casino Venture Goes Through a Hard Patch
MGM Resorts appeared to be the two tribal nations’ worst nightmare. MGM Resorts, the company behind a $950 million casino complex in Springfield, did not spare any efforts and money to challenge the construction of the two tribal nations’ casino venture in East Windsor (which is just across the border from the tribes’ preferred site for the construction of a casino).
The casino operator even upped the stakes in the fight against its rivals Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts Casino, bringing them to court. However, MGM Resorts’ efforts to stop a new casino from being constructed near the MGM Springfield complex hit a snag.
In December last year, Connecticut’s two gaming tribes joined powers with the state in suing the federal government over delays in approving the new casino project in East Windsor. The two tribal nations backed up by Connecticut’s Gov.Dannel P. Malloy filed a lawsuit in US District Court against the US Department of Interior and Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Various documents claim that Mr. Zinke allegedly stopped the two tribal nation’s project to benefit the politically-related MGM Resorts. Yesterday, the news agency Politico provided more detailed information about the hidden affairs between MGM Resorts and Mr. Zinke. According to their article, Zinke and other officials were in close relations with MGM lobbyists.
The tribes’ casino proposal intended to retain the players in Connecticut, who otherwise would go to spend their money in the nearby MGM Springfield casino. It is interesting to note that the two tribes currently pay 25% of their slots revenue in order to keep their casino exclusivity. The two tribal nations will need to pay the state a 25% cut of their gaming revenue from their new joint casino venture.