In agreement with Connecticut officials, on Thursday, U.S. District Judge Alvin Thompson ruled that because MGM failed to “adequately allege an injury” from the new law, it has no legal standing to base the litigation on, according to the Associated Press.
The 2015 lawsuit filed by MGM, challenges legislation that was approved in June by Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy in an effort to protect the state’s gaming revenues from competition from MGM’s $950 million mega resort in neighboring Springfield. The bill allows tribal leaders of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods to seek site proposals from municipalities that are interested in hosting a possible third casino near the state line. According to the suit, the bill bars out-of-state competitors from developing a casino in Connecticut while giving the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes “preferential treatment.”
In order to compete with MGM’s $950 million mega resort in neighboring Springfield, the two tribes joined forces last year to form MMCT Venture, which was made possible by the new legislation and in turn facilitated the tribes’ request for proposal (pdf).
According to the Connecticut’s Office of the Attorney General, the ruling is being reviewed and if necessary, is prepared to defend it.
On March 7, the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation, which has a reservation in the southern part of the state, but is not federally recognized, filed its own lawsuit against Connecticut for failing to include it in the plan to build a third casino in the state. Chief Richard L. Velky said at the time that without a gaming study or competitive bidding, the state effectively denied the tribe of the opportunity to create a lucrative commercial enterprise, instead giving the other two tribes exclusivity. In February, the tribe filed the necessary paperwork with the Secretary of the State’s office to pursue casino development under the newly enacted state law, but the office claimed the tribe’s application for the formation of a “tribal business entity,” was filed in error and therefore gives them no legal right to create a casino in the state.
MGM is partially funding the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s lawsuit.