Connecticut asks court to toss MGM Resorts suit

Sep 28, 2015 9:46 AM

Connecticut is asking a federal court to toss out a lawsuit filed by casino developer MGM Resorts, which challenged the constitutionality of state legislation that makes it possible for the state’s two Indian tribes to jointly operate a third casino along the Massachusetts border.

MGM filed the action against state officials, charging that it was shut out of an opportunity to bid for the proposed casino. The Mohegan and Pequot tribes wanted the proposed casino to discourage Connecticut residents from traveling to the Springfield, Mass. Casino being developed by MGM.

The motion filed this week by Connecticut was the state’s first response to MGM’s suit filed in August.

The filing argues that MGM has not suffered “injury” from Connecticut’s legislation and therefore does not have standing to sue Gov. Daniel P. Malloy and other state officials.

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes negotiated for the third casino, arguing it was necessary to protect thousands of Connecticut jobs and to discourage spending by its residents in Massachusetts. The activity is a sign of the increasing competitiveness ion the regional casino business.

MGM has since delayed the opening of its Springfield casino by about a year and revised designs for the Springfield facility.

Phil Hevener has been writing about the Nevada gaming business for more than 30 years. He can be reached at [email protected].