Schaghticoke Tribe files lawsuit against the state of Connecticu - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Schaghticoke Tribe files lawsuit against the state of Connecticut

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Chief Ricard Velkey files lawsuit against Connecticut for giving exclusive gaming rights to two other tribes. (WFSB) Chief Ricard Velkey files lawsuit against Connecticut for giving exclusive gaming rights to two other tribes. (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

The Schaghticoke Tribe announced on Monday that they have filed a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut.

MGM also announced on Monday that they are working with the Schaghticoke Tribe. While the two organizations are different, they do have the same goal.

Both have filed lawsuits against the state where they claimed the legislature’s agreement with two tribes is unconstitutional. 

“The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation should have the same rights as anyone else to pursue this economic opportunity,” Schaghticoke Tribal Nation Chief Richard Velky said.

The Schaghticoke Tribal Nation were silent for many years, but now they are once again trying to have a casino.

Velky filed a federal lawsuit against Connecticut. He said the special act between the state and two other tribes is discriminatory because it allows the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans the right to build a casino "off" tribal land. 

That’s exactly how MGM feels. MGM officials said they want a piece of the action too. They have their own lawsuit and are helping the Schaghticokes with legal expenses.

“We are both seeking the same objective,” MGM Executive Vice President Alan Feldman said. “That is an open transparent and competitive process."

MGM has turned up the heat. They've done their own study, which shows Fairfield County, would be a better location for a third casino and not in the currently proposed locations in north central part of the state. MGM said their new study shows Fairfield County would create a lot more revenue and jobs with a commercial casino.  

On MGM's website, they urge Connecticut residents to support the study. The website states "before we open the door to commercial gaming in Connecticut, shouldn't we evaluate what is best for the whole state."

As for the Schaghticoke Tribe, they have been denied federal recognition. Without it, the Schaghticoke Tribe can't negotiate terms of any gambling. But, they believe the state has opened a Pandora ’s Box by allowing a casino on non-tribal land.

The tribes now, who have an agreement, said this should raise a red flag for anyone who is concerned about MGM's plan to steal jobs from Connecticut residents."

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