Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, left, is greeted by Chief Lynn Malerba of the Mohegan Tribe and Chairman Kevin Brown of the Mohegan Tribe, at the National Congress of American Indians mid-year conference at Mohegan Sun on the Mohegan Reservation in Connecticut on June 13, 2017. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Tribes report mixed slot machine returns as they press Trump team on casino

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe saw mixed slot machine results last month as they await word from the Trump administration about their gaming agreements.

Slot revenue at Mashantucket-owned Foxwoods Resort Casino was $38.3 million in October 2017, according to a press release. That represents a 3.4 percent increase from the same month last year.

The Mohegan Sun, on the other hand, saw a 6.2 percent drop in slot revenues, The New London Day reported. Revenue totaled $47.6 million for October 2017, the paper said.

The tribes are operating their casinos pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Their agreements are also governed by the federal law.

The Trump team, however, is refusing to give the tribes an answer on the agreements despite being required by IGRA to do so within a 45-day time frame. The holdup is tied to a new casino the tribes are planning to open under state, rather than federal, law.

The New England Casino Race: Tribal and commercial gaming facilities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island

The tribes already won state approval for the facility, to be located in the city of East Windsor. On August 2, they asked the Bureau of Indian Affairs to confirm that the project won't infringe on their existing rights but no firm answer was received despite the September 15 deadline.

The new casino is meant to compete with a $950 million commercial casino going up just across the state line in Massachusetts. MGM Resorts International, a non-Indian firm, is lobbying the Trump administration in an effort to derail the tribes.

The tribes are still hoping to start work by the end of the year in hopes of opening in late 2018, The Hartford Courant reported. The MGM facility is due to open at the same time.

In related news, the Mohegan Tribe pushed back the groundbreaking on a gaming resort in South Korea to the spring of 2018, The Day reported. The entire project, to be completed in phases, is expected to cost $5 billion.

Read More on the Story:
Mohegan Sun reports slots revenue down 6% (The Norwich Bulletin November 15, 2017)
Foxwoods' slots revenue up 3 percent in October, Mohegan Sun's down 6 percent (The New London Day November 15, 2017)
MGM Ramps Up Hiring For New Springfield Casino With Career Center Opening (The Hartford Courant November 14, 2017)
Mohegans push back Inspire groundbreaking, host South Korean officials (The New London Day November 13, 2017)

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