Donald Trump supported then opposed casino in Connecticut

Donald Trump supporters in Iowa. Photo from Facebook

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump -- who has repeatedly hurled racial insults at tribes -- once sought a casino in Connecticut only to oppose it when rivals entered the picture.

After the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation scored with its massive Foxwoods Resort Casino in the early 1990s, Trump started lobbying the state to authorize a non-Indian casino in Bridgeport. According to The New York Times, the real estate mogul spent several months in 1993 trying to break into the market.

The effort didn't succeed but Trump did not give up on Bridgeport. In June 1994, he announced plans for a huge resort in the city that didn't include gaming.

"If casinos should happen in Connecticut, we'd be involved, but not here," Trump said in Bridgeport, The New York Times reported.

The Foxwoods Resort Casino, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut, as seen in 2009. Photo by Eigenes Werk / Wikipedia

The situation changed after residents of the impoverished city voted to support a casino on the waterfront in March 1995, The Daily Beast reported. By that time, however, rival gaming mogul Steve Wynn entered the picture and there was even talk of the Pequots operating the facility.

That's when Trump apparently decided that if he couldn't have the casino no one else could. One of his former associates said he was hired to make sure nothing ever happened in Bridgeport.

“Trump’s attitude was, ‘If they give me the casino I’ll take it. If it’s not mine I wanna kill it,'" Lennie Grimaldi, who was the campaign manager for the city's then-mayor, told The Daily Beast.

Nothing ever happened in Bridgeport and the Pequots eventually agreed to share 25 percent of their slot machine revenues with the state in exchange for exclusive rights to Class III gaming. The Mohegan Tribe made the same deal when it opened Mohegan Sun in 1996.

As for Bridgeport, Trump ended up making his own deal -- he sold his land to the city for $1 in exchange for forgiveness on the $300,000 in annual property taxes he owed on the potential resort site. The mayor who agreed to the arrangement eventually served seven years in federal prison on racketeering, conspiracy and bribery charges, The Daily Beast reported.

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