Bill for more tribally-operated casinos advances in Connecticut

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Chairman Rodney Butler, left, and Mohegan Tribe Chairman Kevin Brown appeared at a hearing on March 17 to support a bill to authorize more tribally-operated casinos. Photo from CT Jobs Matter

A bill to authorize as many as three new tribally-operated casinos in Connecticut is headed to a vote in the state Senate.

The Planning and Development Committee endorsed Senate Bill 1090 by an 18 to 9 vote on Monday. It previously passed the Public Safety and Security Committee and is expected to be amended before it sees a final vote in the chamber.

"There's still a lot of work that needs to be done on this,'' Sen. Cathy Osten (D), whose district includes the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe, said at a committee meeting, The Hartford Courant reported.

The bill authorizes the state to enter into agreements with the two tribes. Although revenue sharing provisions are envisioned, the deals would not be considered Class III gaming compacts and the new facilities would not fall under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen has said the bill, as introduced, raises some legal issues. But he indicated that the state could address those doubts in order to avoid disrupting the tribes' Class III gaming rights and to keep the Bureau of Indian Affairs out of the process.

“The strength of the relationship between the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes and the state of Connecticut has been the willingness of all three governments to work together to solve complex issues and problems,” Mashantucket Chairman Rodney Butler and Mohegan Chairman Kevin Brown said in a joint statement, CT News Junkie reported. “Our government-to-government partnership has been strong and mutually beneficial, and we respect today’s vote by the committee to continue to move forward.”

Get the Story:
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Bill That Would Allow More Casinos Advances To Senate (The Hartford Courant 4/21)
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An Opinion:
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