Gov. Dannel Malloy, Secretary of State Denise Merrill and Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Jonathan Harris will have until Oct. 1 to prepare for the legal suit by MGM Resorts International over the state’s plan to build a new tribal gaming facility. MGM’s filed a lawsuit on August 11 that accused the state of unconstitutionally favoring Connecticut Indian tribes in its newly-passed gaming bill. The original deadline was Sept. 1.
Connecticut Federal District Court Judge Alvin Thompson explained that “…due to the nature of Plaintiff’s claims and the press of other business in both the state and federal courts, the undersigned requires additional time to prepare an appropriate response.” MGM did not oppose the extension, the motion said, and the Connecticut officials were granted the extension. I actually they would have hoped for a further deadline to bide more time since their property is now scheduled for late 2018!
The amendment to the Connecticut law allows the Mohegan & Pequot tribes currently operating their own casinos under federal Indian gaming law to issue a request for proposals for a new casino. Any municipality in the state could respond and negotiate a development deal with the tribes. MGM calls this unconstitutional, saying “…by authorizing the new casino on state rather than tribal land, the restriction is illegal race-based discrimination and unfairly prevents out-of-state companies from seeking the new license.”
The law is specific in who is eligible to build the new casino: a business entity “owned exclusively by both the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut.” It’s intentions is to keep jobs and gambling revenue in the state.
MGM’s intentions could be many:
- To get a chance for a casino in Connecticut, even though they pulled out the partnership with Foxwoods a few years ago.
- To waste Connecticut’s time in litigation so that the Satellite casino run by both tribes can’t get a running start at controlling the I-91 corridor minutes from Springfield.
- To slow a reaction by CT to the impending threat of Massachusetts gaming which through naivete or arrogance, MGM disregarded as a consideration.
October 1st – more fireworks to come!
That’s all for now.