Home Courts Mashantuckets, state withdraw casino lawsuit against Interior Department

Mashantuckets, state withdraw casino lawsuit against Interior Department

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The State of Connecticut and the Mashantucket Pequot tribe have withdrawn their lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Interior, as the long-delayed Tribal Winds casino in East Windsor appears to finally be moving forward.

east windsor casino ryan zinkeThe tribe, which operates the Foxwoods Resort and Casino, and the state sued the Interior Department in 2017, alleging that the agency and its then-head Ryan Zinke failed to take action on approving the East Windsor facility due to pressure from MGM Resorts and Republican lawmakers in Nevada.

MGM opened the MGM Springfield casino last year, against which Tribal Winds – to be operated by both the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes under the MMCT joint venture banner – would compete.

Zinke, who resigned from the Interior Department on Jan. 2, and MGM have denied any wrongdoing. Zinke is now under several federal ethics investigations.

Last week the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Interior Department published its approval of the Tribal Winds project.

A spokesperson for Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said that the suit “is no longer necessary,” while a Mashantucket spokesperson said the tribe looks forward to “a new beginning” with the Interior Department.

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