Artist's rendering of a new casino to be jointly owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe in East Windsor, Connecticut. Image: CT Jobs Matter

Tribes plan to break ground on long-awaited casino in Connecticut

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe plan to break ground on their new casino in Connecticut this fall despite being kept in the dark by the Trump administration.

The tribes envision a 188,000 square-foot facility with about 1,800 slot machines, 50 table games and 10 poker tables. They submitted updated renderings to the city of East Windsor on Wednesday as part of the process.

“From the start, we pledged to create a world class facility that will be a draw for people throughout the entire region,” Mashantucket Chairman Rodney Butler said in a press release. “These renderings help bring to life our vision for this site, and we thank the town for working with us every step of the way through the local approval process.”

“This gaming and entertainment facility will create jobs and will provide additional revenue to the state at a time when every dollar is precious,” added Mohegan Chairman Kevin Brown. “We are full steam ahead and excited by the tremendous progress we’ve made to date.”

Artist's rendering of a new casino to be jointly owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe in East Windsor, Connecticut. Image: CT Jobs Matter

The tribes do not need federal approval to open the casino, which was authorized under state law. But they submitted new gaming agreements to the Trump administration in order to preserve their existing relationship with the state.

Ten months later, notice of the Mohegan Tribe's agreement was finally published in the Federal Register on June 1. But the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is still in the dark.

Despite the uncertainty, the tribes eventually expect to move forward. Once construction starts this fall, the casino is projected to open in the spring of 2020.

East Windsor is far from the tribes' reservations, where each operates a casino. But it's not close to the border with Massachusetts, where a $950 million commercial gaming facility is opening in August.

The tribes had hoped to complete their development around the same time. Delays at the federal level made that impossible.

Read More on the Story:
East Windsor Casino Takes Shape In New Renderings (The Hartford Courant June 13, 2018)
Tribes update East Windsor casino drawings, seek zoning approvals (The New London Day June 13, 2018)
East Windsor Planning Board May Vote Next Week On Casino Plan (The Hartford Courant June 14, 2018)
E. Windsor casino blueprint revealed; groundbreaking in fall (Hartford Business June 14, 2018)
New renderings released for proposed East Windsor casino (WTNH June 14, 2018)
Renderings offer first look at proposed East Windsor Casino (The Springfield Republican June 14, 2018)

Federal Register Notice:
Indian Gaming; Tribal-State Class III Gaming Compact Taking Effect in the State of Connecticut (June 1, 2018)

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