Connecticut tribes still working on plan for potential new casino

The Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley Airport in Connecticut has been mentioned as a potential site for a new tribally-operated casino. Photo from Facebook

Plans for a new casino in Connecticut are moving so slowly that one potential host has withdrawn one location from consideration.

The Connecticut Airport Authority is still interested in hosting the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe somewhere on its vast property near Hartford, the state's capital. But executives had to take one site off the table because discussions were taking too long.

“It has become clear that the timeline of any potential (casino) development will not be compatible with the construction schedule for our new ground transportation center,” Kevin Dillon, the executive director of the authority, said in a statement, The Manchester Journal Inquirer reported.

Other areas at the airport remain under consideration as the tribes continue to negotiate the particulars of a new casino. They had originally hoped to select a host community by the end of 2015 but they now say they won't be able to move forward until 2017.

The tribes hope their jointly-operated project will address competition from neighboring Massachusetts. MGM Resorts International is building a $950 million commercial facility in Springfield, just a few miles across the border.

MGM has been trying to shut the tribes down with lawsuits and even by asking Congress to limit their ability to enter the commercial market. The tribes are working outside of the framework of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act but they are trying to make sure their new development doesn't affect their existing rights under the law.

Get the Story:
Bradley pulls 1 of 3 casino applications (The Manchester Journal Inquirer 6/30)
Airport Authority Withdraws Prime Site At Bradley For Casino, Interest Remains (The Hartford Courant 6/30)
Airport rules out tribal casino at 1 site, open to others (FOX 61 6/29)

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