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In its motion, Interior argues that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act cited by MGM is not relevant to the case because the nations are not looking to build a casino on tribal lands.
“MGM pursues litigation because that's what MGM does,” said Andrew Doba, spokesman for the tribes' MMCT joint venture.
The money is meant to help offset the state’s regulatory costs for Tribal Winds Casino, the complex that MMCT Venture plans to build in East Windsor.
The suit alleged that the agency failed to take action on approving the East Windsor facility due to pressure from MGM Resorts and Republican lawmakers in Nevada.
“Today is a great day for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the state of Connecticut, especially given our 400-year history together,” Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said.
Under the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras in Washington, D.C., the tribe and the state have until Friday to file an amended complaint.
The tribes operating Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods remain adamant that they will not participate in the proposed open bidding process, and that the cancellation of their compact with the state will cost Connecticut billions of dollars in lost revenue.
“We believe our proposed world-class entertainment complex in Bridgeport is the best option for creating new jobs and revenue, and we will vigorously advocate for our legal rights,” said MGM Resorts International.
The state final state budget of $20.86 billion included a decrease in funding for the Office of Tourism's from $6.4 million to $4.1 million. “It means we need to focus on the most effective and efficient ways to maximize the reach of our message,” Randy Fiveash, director of the Office, said.
Questions about traffic, increasing casino competition from neighboring states, and the wisdom or breaking the state compact with the tribes operating Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods remain, say several observers.
Still in the running is Windsor Locks; either way, the government must ultimately agree to allowing a third gambling site in the state.