CT News Junkie | Lawmakers, Tribal Chairmen Applaud Governor's … – CT News Junkie

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Mashantucket Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler and Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown

HARTFORD, CT —Lawmakers who favor maintaining the exclusivity of two federally recognized Indian tribes’ gaming operations in Connecticut applauded comments that Gov. Dannel P. Malloy made Friday to another news organization.

Malloy told the Connecticut Mirror that if the legislature is considering expanding gaming it should respect its long-standing relationship with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations. 

Sens. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, and Tim Larson, D-East Hartford, thanked Malloy for his comments.

“The governor’s comments today provide the legislature with a single, clear path forward on the issue of casino expansion in Connecticut, one that I believe is both reasonable and necessary to protect and grow our economy,” Sprague said.

House and Senate leaders have remained non-committal about maintaining the relationships with the tribes by allowing them to open up a casino in East Windsor to compete with MGM Resort International’s casino in Springfield, Mass.

MGM has suggested that the state could see a greater revenue share by opening up the bidding process for a third Connecticut casino. There’s also those who believe opening a third casino in Fairfield County would be a better option than East Windsor.

However, Malloy said the letter the tribes received from the Bureau of Indian Affairs made him more comfortable with tribal exclusivity.

James Cason, the acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of the Interior, stressed in a May 12 letter that changes in Washington would not impact the tribe’s revenue sharing agreement with Connecticut.

“In practice, the Department has not disturbed long-standing compacts when reviewing amendments to the underlying agreement,” Cason wrote. “Here, the Tribes and the State have long-relied upon the Compacts that have facilitated a significant source of revenue for the Tribes and the State. The

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