The Mohegan Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, the two major players in Connecticut’s casino/resort industry, are seeking support from the National Congress of American Indians in what they are calling the “dangerous precedent of obstinacy and unresponsiveness, from the federal government.”
The two tribes, joined by the State of Connecticut, in a recently filed lawsuit in U.S. District Court contend that under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) the Department of Interior (DOI) is required to approve or disapprove compact amendments within 45 days of submission. If the DOI does not act, the changes are deemed approved, and the DOI has 45 additional days to publish notice of its approval in the Federal Register.
The suit notes 90 days have passed since the submitted amendments were filed with the DOI and federal law has been violated because no action has been taken.
The tribes are seeking to proceed with opening and operating a commercial gaming facility under state law in East Windsor and had agreed with the state on compact alterations to move forward.