Leaders of Connecticut's two federally recognized Indian tribes, despite numerous hurdles on the horizon, began a six-week demolition project to clear its East Windsor site for a planned 200,000-square foot gambling and entertainment venue.
"We've been through too much already together to give up. And we're not going to," said Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown.
There’s no date for a casino to open or for formal construction to begin, but Brown and Rodney Butler, chairman of the partner Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, both said they hope it will be "inside of two years."
The tribes hope to compete with the new MGM casino that's scheduled to open this fall, about 15 miles north along I-91 in Springfield, Massachusetts,.
Among potential roadblocks for construction are the U.S. Department of Interior’s failure to approve or reject revenue sharing agreements between Connecticut and the tribes and a move by some state lawmakers to re-open legislative discussions that could open up a bidding process to other companies, including MGM, for additional casinos in Connecticut.