The fight between MGM and the Connecticut Gaming Tribes has now landed up in the court. The Casino Operator MGM Resorts has filed a lawsuit in the US District Court in Washington, DC on Wednesday. The company has accused the US Department of the Interior (DOI) and Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) of violating federal rules. The lawsuit comes in the backdrop of the approval of the joint venture Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor, Connecticut.
BIA has already approved the Tribes for East Windsor Casino. However, the last week’s bill in Connecticut would have irked the MGM most. The proposed bill would allow the Tribe to build a gaming venue in Bridgeport along with the East Windsor. MGM previously sought permission to operate in Bridgeport as well. The new bill would give Tribes to operate Sports betting and online gambling.
In 2017, Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes joined hands together for the casino operations. The companies operated Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos respectively before. The flagged a new banner of MMCT Venture to start a new venture of casino of the tribal land near the Massachusetts Border. The intention was pretty clear to intercept the gamblers of Connecticut who could have patronized to MGM.
However, things did not go too well with MGM Springfield. They did unsuccessfully challenge the plan of the tribes. But MGM was suspected of even serious issues. It is widely suspected that the MGM had a role to play in the delay and dragging of approval for Tribe’s application to build the East Windsor casino. But things changed in the last few months. Ryan Zinke, the then DOI Secretary, who was suspected to have favored MGM, resigned in March. The resignation came after a flood of corruption charges were labeled against him. The BIA finally signed off the deal soon after for Tribes.
The Governor of Connecticut has opposed the bill and there is no surety that the proposed bill would pass. However, the Ned Lamont, the Governor, has reportedly suggested the tribes to hold on to the Bridgeport and forgo East Windsor for some resolve between MGM and Tribes.
MGM Springfield has performed well below expectations and MGM is thus desperate to get things sorted. However, the MGM Resorts have now reached the court claiming the BIA has no right to approve the amended compact to approve the Tribes East Windsor Casino. All the efforts of mediation may look moot now, as it has reached the purview of the judiciary.