Jepsen says new tribal casino still needs federal approvals

Jepsen says new tribal casino still needs federal approvals

April 19, 2018 9:25 AM
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Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen is advising Connecticut officials not to assume a planned tribal casino in East Windsor can open without formal federal approvals.

His legal opinion released earlier this week warns that legislation passed last year by the General Assembly still requires the U.S. Department of Interior to approve proposed amendments to the revenue-sharing agreement between the state and the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes before their new border casino can open. The proposed casino is an effort to stem the expected tide of gamblers near the state’s Massachusetts border near Springfield who may patronize the nearly $1 billion MGM Springfield set to open in September.

Connecticut and tribes have filed a lawsuit, asserting that the amendments were “deemed approved” under federal Indian gambling laws.

However, Jepsen says making that assumption and allowing the casino to open could risk the underlying revenue-sharing deal, which grants Connecticut 25 percent of the slot machine revenues generated at the tribes’ two existing casinos.