The proposed third casino in Connecticut has been a contentious issue for some time now. However, that is all in the past now, as the Governor, Dannel Malloy, has officially signed Public Act 17-89, which permits the construction of a new casino on non-tribal land.
Connecticut Governor Officially Sanctions New Casino
This new act officially sanctions the state’s two Native American tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes, to work together and jointly open a third casino on non-tribal land. Each tribe currently runs one land-based casino in Connecticut, and now, they’ll jointly operate the third. However, there are some who think that this news puts the current agreement between the tribes and the state in doubt. This is because the current compact states that gambling must not be expanded in Connecticut.
Governor Malloy said that he agreed to sign the act in order to protect jobs. The two current casinos employ thousands of residents within the state, and the new casino will undoubtedly increase this number. The new casino is being built in response to a new MGM gambling facility being built just across the state border, in Massachusetts.
MGM Challenges Connecticut
The signing of the bill by the governor hardly came as a surprise. This was after MGM challenged the new bill in court. MGM took the state to court as it believed that the state had not held a competitive bidding process for the new casino. This claim was rejected by the court, before being rejected by the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.
Connecticut argued that it was not legalizing commercial casinos and thus, didn’t need to have a bidding process. It is believed that the new casino will have a 200 000-square foot gaming area with around 2000 slot machines and between 50 and 150 table games.