Attorney General George Jepsen issued a warning on April 15, 2015 to the Connecticut legislative leaders regarding a casino bill. Two tribes, which are federally recognized, request the state to allow for their joint operation of casinos. Jepsen states the bill may face opposition from other gambling locations citing that it is unconstitutional. There may be ramifications between gaming locations with the state as well as the tribes if the bill is accepted. The Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Tribe currently have casinos on sovereign land in the southeast section of Connecticut.
The bill in question is asking for three smaller casino locations to be opened and operated jointly by the two tribes. However, MGM is planning an $800 million facility in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts. New facilities in Connecticut would mean competition for MGM Springfield that could lead to legal issues.
Jepsen says he is concerned that the bill would open up trouble for the state. Onlookers might consider that the tribe is getting exclusive rights in the state even though the new casinos would not be on reservation land. It would also violate the US Constitution clause of Equal Protection, according the AG.
The chairman Kevin Brown and Rodney Butler, of the Mohegan and Mashantucket tribes, respectively, stated the casinos would provide protection of 10,000 jobs and state tax revenue. Both say the benefits are worth any perceived concerns regarding legal matters.