The tribal operators of Connecticut’s two giant integrated casino resorts have reportedly begun lobbying local lawmakers to change the eastern state’s decades-old policy on alcohol so that they can serve drinks for longer.
According to a Tuesday report from local television broadcaster WFSB, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe are currently prohibited from serving alcoholic beverages beyond 1am on weekdays and 2am on Saturdays and Sundays. The federally-recognized tribes fear that this current state of affairs will see them lose patrons to the coming MGM Springfield facility, which is set to open in the neighboring state of Massachusetts from August 24 offering active gamblers the ability to get drinks until 4am.
The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which is responsible for the 2,200-room Foxwoods Resort Casino in New London County, initiated the campaign by declaring that the imminent opening of the MGM Springfield with its longer hours for drinkers means that ‘it only makes sense for us at a minimum to do the same if not implement longer service hours and do so responsibly.’
WFSB reported that this was soon followed by a claim from the Mohegan Tribe, which runs the similarly-grand Mohegan Sun venue via its Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment vehicle in the nearby community of Uncasville, that Connecticut casinos would be ‘at a disadvantage’ if the current state of affairs was allowed to continue.
The broadcaster reported that the tribes’ request is currently being considered by state lawmakers although numerous local residents have reacted by voicing their opposition to a change in the law that would allow the aboriginal-run casinos to serve alcoholic beverages for longer.
One of these is Montville resident, Taylor Hanson, who told WFSB that he believes an extension would lead to more drink-driving accidents. He moreover detailed that he already sees ‘drunk people’ on area roads in the early hours of the morning presumably travelling from the Mohegan Sun and believes that lengthening drinking hours is sure to ‘cause more problems.’
“I think it would cause problems during commute hours,” Hanson reportedly told WFSB.