New bill limits Connecticut tribes to one more gaming facility

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

Lawmakers in Connecticut have revised a gaming bill to limit the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe to one additional casino.

Senate Bill 1090 authorized up to three casinos when it was introduced in March. But lawmakers have scaled back the proposal and have changed how the process would work, according to news reports.

The tribes will form a joint entity to operate the casino. The new version of the bill requires plans to be approved by the Legislature and the Bureau of Indian Affairs because it could affect the existing Class III gaming compact.

"A tribal business entity may not establish a casino gaming facility in the state until the General Assembly and the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs have approved the amendments," the new bill states, The Hartford Courant reported.

The tribes could propose a casino anywhere in the state. But they are looking at locations near the Massachusetts border because MGM Resorts is building an $800 million facility in downtown Springfield.

The new bill could see a vote this week, according to news reports.

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