Bureau Of Indian Affairs Confirms Amendments Will Protect Connecticut Taxpayers

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, APRIL 26, 2016
Contact: Andrew Doba | andrew@stuloeser.com | (203) 850-7400

(HARTFORD, CT) – The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes, in their continuing effort to preserve jobs and revenue in Connecticut, announced today that they have received confirmation from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) that the proposed changes to their agreements with the state will ensure that the revenue the two tribes provide to the state is not jeopardized if state law is changed to permit a third casino jointly owned and operated by the tribes. 

Issued in a letter signed by Larry Roberts, Acting Assistant Secretary Indian Affairs, the letter states that the "proposed amendment generally confirms that a proposed State of Connecticut (State) law authorizing a new State-regulated casino would not violate the Tribe's existing exclusivity arrangement if the casino is jointly and exclusively owned by" the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes
 
Securing this confirmation is seen as a vital component of the effort to build a third casino that will protect Connecticut jobs and revenue.  The tribes will use this language as the basis for a more complete package they will send to the General Assembly next year.  
 
“The Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans are committed to preserving our relationship with Connecticut,” said Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. "Our ROI on a new casino would be better in another state or even another country, but it's very important to us that we do right by the people of Connecticut. We are grateful to the BIA for this confirmation, and look forward to continuing our work with state leaders in the months ahead.”
 
The existing agreements were drafted in the 1990s, allowing the two federally recognized tribes exclusively to operate gaming facilities on their reservations in exchange for 25% of their slot machine revenue. For more than two decades, the tribes have contributed over $7 billion in revenue to the state, funding that has gone to a host of essential services, like public education and public safety.  
 
“Our Tribes have called this land home long before it was named Connecticut, and we refuse to sit back and watch a casino company from Las Vegas take our jobs and revenue," said Kevin Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe. "Working together with state leaders, we're fighting to build a third gaming facility and mitigate these losses. This confirmation from the BIA is an important step in the process, and we want to thank everyone for their work.”

The amendment language addresses concerns outlined last year by the Attorney General and ensures that, if the two tribes receive authorization to open a third casino -- mitigating the historic loss of gaming revenue and jobs that would result from the opening of MGM's new Springfield casino -- the new facility would not affect their current agreements to pay 25% of their slot revenue from Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun to the state.  
 
MMCT Venture was created in September to preserve jobs and revenue in the state of Connecticut.  To learn more, go to www.ctjobsmatter.com.

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