The United States Inspector General of the Interior has made an important announcement regarding an investigation. The investigation concerns the way the agency handled the application from the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes regarding the construction of a third tribal casino. This casino would be located within the United States in the state of Connecticut. Due to the failure of the department to ratify the tribal contract that had been revised and signed in June of 2017 by both of the tribes, a probe has been launched. According to the revisions made in the contract a casino was to be developed in East Windsor. The operation of this casino is supposed to be a joint venture agreed upon by both tribes.
The provisions of the contract state an initial payment to the state for $1 million is required prior to the development of the new casino. The state will additionally receive 25 percent of the gross revenues from gaming. This includes video slots as well as the new facility’s other authorized casino games. The arguments of the leaders of the tribes are in regards to the existing casinos. They claim a satellite casino must opened close to the border of Massachusetts in order for the jobs currently available at their existing casinos to be saved.
The state and both tribes filed lawsuits in December. These pertained to the failure of the DOI to take the steps necessary for the approval to occur. They now want to see the process expedited. The problem is the ratification is required by the DOI but it has not yet happened. This is the reason the congressional delegation from Connecticut has contacted the Inspector General to request an investigation begin as soon as possible. Senator Richard Blumenthal is one of the delegation’s members. He made a statement to the associated press. He said they have submitted letters, requested meetings and never been provided with any type of access to any of the meetings.
Senator Richard Blumenthal also said they have basically been stonewalled. While this was happening copies of specific correspondence were sent to the Nevada congressional delegation. He stated this is a paper trail and it is extremely troubling. The probe started in February, but nothing was publicized until the past week. This happened while the concerns regarding the MGM Resorts level of influence was prevalent. There has been a competitive bid launched by the MGM Resorts for $675 million for the development of a casino to be located in the riverside town of Bridgeport.
MGM Resorts is trying to get the residents to endorse their development. They have launched a staggering advertising and digital print campaign. The locals have been bombarded with messages regarding the numerous benefits to the area with a new casino development. Andrew Doba spoke on behalf of the venture the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes created. He said both tribes welcomed a full investigation of the matter. He said the actions of the department have not passed the smell test.