A terse notice posted by the Department of Interior on its web site at 11:15 a.m. gives no rationale for the reversal, saying only that after “further consultations with the Tribe,” the East Windsor gambling amendment is approved.
A federal judge dealt a significant blow over the weekend to the ability of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations to jointly build a casino in East Windsor that would compete with MGM Resorts’ new casino in nearby Springfield.
Without explanation, the Department of Interior said Thursday it has reversed course and is accepting at least one of the two gambling amendments necessary for the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to jointly construct a casino in East Windsor. The tribes still face obstacles, including a promised legal challenge by its competitor, MGM.
Attorney General George Jepsen strongly warned the legislature Tuesday against allowing the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to jointly develop a casino in East Windsor without the approval of the U.S. Interior Department, a condition of the 2017 law permitting the project to compete with MGM Springfield. The opinion is likely to be the final blow in this legislative session to any hopes by the tribes to circumvent the requirement for Interior Department approval.
UNCASVILLE — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the face of a Trump administration whose approach to the federal budget and its oversight of Indian country is skeptically viewed by many tribes, was welcomed here Tuesday by Connecticut’s two federally recognized tribes as an ally in their casino fight with MGM Resorts International.