EAST WINDSOR: Federal officials are giving the go ahead for Connecticut’s Mashantucket and Mohegan Tribes for a jointly owned satellite casino in East Windsor.
The casino will be at the now closed Showcase Cinemas in East Windsor. Connecticut officials and the tribes chose the spot just a few minutes south of the $800 million MGM casino expected to open in Springfield on September 1.
The casino was held up for more than six months as the U.S. Department of the Interior did not approve the plan. In February the tribes filed a lawsuit saying the department was delaying the plans.
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s inspector general anoucned late last month that it was probing the lack of action on the amendments to the tribes' revenue sharing agreements with the state of Connecticut.
Without the amendments to the revenue agreements the casino project could not go forward just as the MGM Casino was getting ready to compete with them.
Senator Richard Blumenthal says that the Interior Department may have been unfairly influenced by an MGM lobbyist and has called for the Interior Department's inspector general to expand the investigation.
The approval of the East Windsor Casino has likely halted any legislation allowing a the casino project in Bridgeport proposed by MGM.
MGM which is challenging the state in court for not allowing an open bidding process for a third Connecticut casino. Just last week MGM announced its purchase of the Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway. In response to questions the company reiterated their commitment to a Bridgeport casino.