Federal Judge Sides With State In Casino Expansion Lawsuit
HARTFORD — A federal court judge sided Thursday with the state in a suit over the expansion of casino gambling in Connecticut, dismissing a complaint that a law excludes all but the operators of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun from opening a third casino.
MGM Resorts International, the developer of a $950 million casino and entertainment complex in Springfield, challenged a state law that allowed the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans to seek a location off their reservations for a jointly-run, "satellite" casino. MGM argued the law violated constitutional rights of equal protection, excluding MGM and other commercial developers from competing for a piece of the Connecticut gaming market.
In a 20-page decision, U.S. District Court Judge Alvin Thompson said the law, enacted in 2015, does not favor the tribes "to the detriment of other entities against whom it may be competing, like MGM."
"The act does not establish a process to be followed by everyone who wants to develop a proposal for and petition the General Assembly to authorize a casino gaming facility, nor does it provide that only the tribes can do so," Thompson wrote.