US – Connecticut tribes ask councils housing potential sites to get involvedBy Phil - 30 November 2015
MMCT Venture, the joint Mohegan-Mashantucket Pequot company that has been approved build Connecticut’s third casino, have asked communities who want to host the new casino close to the Massachusetts border to proceed with their local approval processes.
The leaders of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes want to make sure the proposed casino is located in a community that actually wants it.
MMCT Venture is looking at five potential locations from four municipalities; East Hartford, East Windsor, Hartford and Windsor Locks, which is home to two of them.
Mohegan tribal chairman Kevin Brown said: “We want this to be done the right way. It’s our goal to be part of a municipality that understands the benefits a facility like this will bring to its community, and we want to let everyone know that we intend to do our part from the very beginning.”
The tribes’ partnership in the third casino wants to prevent the $950m MGM Springfield from taking jobs or revenue from Connecticut.
In a letter to local councils, MMCT said: “The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribe play a critical role in our state’s economy. The revenue from our gaming facilities that’s directed to 169 towns and cities in this state plays an important part in improving our quality of life here in Connecticut. Over the years, revenue from both of our facilities has paid for countless improvements, going to everything from open space to education. However, these jobs and revenue are now in jeopardy because of the plans of a multi-national corporation to siphon both from our state. The historic partnership between the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans aims to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
Throughout this process, both tribes have stressed that before any proposal can be implemented, it must receive approval from the town being considered,” it added. “At this point, we want you [local councils] to know that we’ve received and are continuing to review a proposal from your municipality. We are now asking that you move forward with getting approval from your town and town leaders.
True to Connecticut’s unique history, we know that town and city charters outline different parameters for securing approval of a development project of this magnitude. In recognition of the partnership we intend to have with any host community, we want you to know that should you choose to conduct a referendum on this project, MMCT will compensate the town for the expenses associated with that process.”