Leaders of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes have opposed casino expansion legislation that would allow non-tribal developers to submit proposals for new casinos. In a letter released Monday, tribal leaders warned that if the new legislation is passed, it would violate exclusivity agreements with the state and ultimately put current revenue-sharing agreements at risk.
Under the terms of the Tribal Agreement, Connecticut receives 25% of slot machine revenue from both casinos, Mashutterkit Pequot and Mohegan, both federally recognized tribes. Instead, tribes will have exclusive rights to run video slots and casino games. However, according to tribal leaders’ warnings, this monopoly will be violated if the state legislature approves a casino expansion proposal known as ‘House Bill 5305 (HB5305).
In a letter to Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Rodney Butler of the Mashantuckets and Kevin Brown of the Mohegans express concern that HB3505 violated an agreement with the state. Under the new legislation, tribal or non-tribal casino operators will be able to submit proposals for casinos somewhere in the state, as well as preliminary land. The bill outlines the so-called proposal request process, which opens up the commercial gambling industry to develop across Connecticut and could infringe on the exclusive rights of tribes, explains Marshantucket Pequot and Mohegan. 파친코
If this happens, tribes will no longer be obliged to share with the state 25 percent of the slot machine revenue generated from their casinos. These are the foxwoods resort casino run by the mashertuckit pequot tribal country in the mashertuckit pequot Indian reservation and the mohegan sun owned by the mohegan tribal gaming authority. According to official data, the two tribes paid nearly $270 million to the state under an income-sharing agreement for the last fiscal year.
Why Connecticut is considering expanding casinos?
Last year, lawmakers passed a bill that would allow Mr. and Mrs. Maughan to jointly develop a commercial casino in East Windsor. The move was essential for the state and both tribes, as it was aimed at reducing the expected competition for the integrated casino resort MGM Springfield, which is currently under construction in Massachusetts. The $950 million resort, expected to open in September 2018, is just minutes from the border with Connecticut and 26 miles from the state capital Hardford.
Meanwhile, two Connecticut-recognized tribes commissioned a study that said existing casinos would lose customers due to competition with MGM Springfield. Tribes fear that this will result in huge revenue losses and ultimately the closure of tribal casinos. However, with a third casino in East Windsor, they hope that MGM Resorts International property will not have a devastating impact on their facilities. Although it is still awaiting federal approval, the joint project is already seeing some progress as the tribes recently demolished the Showcase Cinema building on Route 5 in East Windsor. This is the planned site for their commercial casino property.
However, the project has been strongly opposed by MGM, which proposed a third casino in Connecticut. The Las Vegas giant announced plans to enter the Connecticut market with a $675 million casino resort in Bridgeport. The company is lobbying fiercely for the casino expansion legislature, saying the state should provide a fair bidding process and not discriminate against commercial casino developers in favor of tribal operators.
Connecticut is currently struggling to find a solution, and MGM has a stronger influence within Congress and communities, who see the project as a new source of jobs, income and economic development. Tribes, on the other hand, warn lawmakers may have to stop paying to the state if they approve the casino expansion bill.