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Connecticut Governor Malloy Signs Casino Bill
- June 24, 2015 By Oliver Young -
Daniel P. Malloy, the Governor of Connecticut, on Monday signed a bill that will allow construction and opening of new tribal casino within the state’s borders. However, if there is a new gambling resort, it will be the first one located on non-tribal land.
As the bill demands, towns will have to come to an agreement with the Mohegan and Mashantucket tribes in order be allowed to start a casino. These two tribes already operate casino resorts on reservations located in the south-eastern part of the state.
However, it has to be pointed out that the bill still needs another vote before any new casino can be built. That vote is from the General Assembly and remains to be seen how the situation will unravel since there have been some concerns over the legal status of this new legislature.
Just weeks ago it wasn’t even known whether the Governor Malloy will decide to sign the bill. However, on 5th of June, 2015, The Washington Times reported that the Democratic Governor had intentions to approve the new changes proposed in the bill.
Building Casino on Non-Tribal Land Violets State’s Agreement with the Tribes
George Jepsen, The Attorney General, was the first one to raise legal worries that the bill might not be a smart move since it might violate the agreement between Connecticut and the two previously mentioned tribes.
According to him, such situation might put in danger the revenue that the state is getting from its casinos. Under the current compact between the state and Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans , both tribes pay 25% tax on their revenue from slot machines.
The reaction of Jepsen resulted in a two-step process for approval of the bill and any possible casinos in the future. The House of Representatives then revised the bill and it gave it green light. This was enough for the Attorney General to change his mind and issue a written statement that the legislature didn’t present any instant legal problems.
The Bill is a Tool for Fighting Competition from other States
Even though many are wondering why Connecticut and its Governor decided to make this move and present this new bill, the reason is quite obvious. The state has been facing a hard time attracting customers and keeping up with the competition.
Once the MGM Resorts’ plan of building a new casino in Springfrield, Massachusetts, only few miles north of the state’s border, it was obvious that Connecticut has to find a way to fight back.
Currently, the state has Foxwoods Resort Casino run by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and the Mohegan Sun run by the Mohegan tribe in Uncasville, Montville. However, if these two tribes start their joint casino project, they will have to provide monthly report on their progress.
The tribes strongly support this new bill and they made a statement saying that the new legislature would protect state jobs. Nevertheless, the proposal has to be reviewed by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs as well.