On Friday, the Schaghitcoke Tribal Nation chief stated that he plans on suing the state of Connecticut for not being included in a plan to build a third casino in the state. The announcement of the lawsuit by Chief Richard L. Velky comes just a short time after a study was released, after being requested by MGM Resorts that shows a casino would be better suited for Fairfield County instead of the northern portion of the state.
The potential lawsuit, which should be filed on Monday, would be the latest roadblock for the Mohegan tribe, the Mashantucket Pequots and the state to create a gambling venue in the northern central portion of the state. This venue would be created to try and compete with the MGM Resorts International venue that is being constructed in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Velky released a statement which read that without competitive bidding or a gaming study, the state of Connecticut shut out the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation and awarded the casino to one pair of Native American tribes with the exclusive ability to create a highly-valuable commercial enterprise. The chief states that his tribe should have the same right to pursue the opportunity to create the casino due to the equal protection clauses of the state and federal constitutions.
The Schaghticoke tribe has a reservation located in Kent but does not currently have federal recognition. The tribe filed paperwork in February to try and pursue casino development under a state law that was passed in 2015. The paperwork was filed in the Secretary of the State’s office and this office has claimed the registration should not have been accepted as the law specifically gives the permission to the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods operators to build the third casino in the state.