The decision as to where to locate a casino in Connecticut has been temporarily put off by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes of Connecticut.
The two tribes formed MMCT Venture in Connecticut in order to compete with MGM Resorts International’s $950 million mega resort in neighboring Springfield, Massachusetts. After a town meeting on Friday with town officials, MMCT Venture said it needs additional time to decide. MMCT Venture began its search on October 1, with proposals being due on November 6, and the deadline for choosing a location was December 8. However, last month the chairmen of the tribes that run Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun casinos said that the decision deadline can be flexible.
MMCT’s statement did not go beyond that in detail. Evaluations by the tribes include the economic impact of each site proposal received, seeking the third casino license in Connecticut. Site proposal were submitted in November by Hartford and Windsor Locks, East Hartford and East Windsor. Windsor Locks First Selectman J. Christopher Kervick and East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc said tribal leaders wanted additional time to investigate proposals, according to the Associated Press. Once MMCT Venture chooses a site location, a third casino must still be approved by the legislature.
Earlier this month a federal judge was urged by MGM’s legal team to deny the state’s motions to have MGM’s own lawsuit, which was filed in August in New Haven, contesting the casino proposal laws thrown out.
MGM Resorts International revenue exceeds $10 billion a year from its Nevada casino and hotel operations and several other states. It is arguing that newly-passed laws in Connecticut that allow the tribes to pursue a new casino project are unconstitutional and they erase any opportunity the MGM has to compete fairly with the tribes.
MGM Resorts International’s Springfield mega resort and casino is in the process of being built and will cut into the Mohegan Sun and Foxwood’s business. That is the reason why the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes are working so diligently to maintain control of the casino market in the state and keep casino-goers in Connecticut. The tribes are already ahead of the game as special laws voted in by state legislatures effectively give them full reign of any future plans for casino development. The MGM Springfield is scheduled to open in 2018, and the tribes hopes to beat that date by at least a year with help from the state legislature.