Casino plan approved by Interior Dept.

MGM reaffirms vow to ‘pursue all legal options … to defend our right to compete’ in state.
EAST WINDSOR — The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved an amendment allowing the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Sun Indian tribes to build the Tribal Winds casino at the former Showcase Cinemas site in town.
The approval came on March 21.
“Today is a great day for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the State of Connecticut, especially given our 400-year history together,” said Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation in a written statement that day.
“I applaud the actions of the Department of Interior and extend my sincerest gratitude to Assistant Secretary Tara Sweeney and the Office of the Solicitor at the Interior Department for their assistance in resolving this matter.  Now that the approval of our amendment is secured and our exclusivity agreement with the State of Connecticut is reaffirmed, we will move forward with construction on Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor and preserve much needed jobs and revenue.”
The tribes have said they want to open the casino to compete with MGM Resorts International’s casino in Springfield, Mass.
MGM also is seeking permission to build a casino in Bridgeport.
“The attorney general’s office has repeatedly warned, as recently as last year, that pursuing a no-bid approach in East Windsor would expose Connecticut to significant legal risks.  As MGM has always stated, we will continue to pursue all legal options, including litigation, to defend our right to compete in Connecticut,” said Uri Clinton of MGM Resorts International in a written statement.
“While we assess the planned Interior Department publication, the fundamentals haven’t changed. MGM remains steadfast in our view that Bridgeport is the best location in Connecticut for a commercial casino if the state is to maximize jobs, economic growth, tourism, and revenue — and a transparent, competitive process is in the state’s best interest.”
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