State leaders meet to discuss potential third casino in Connecti - WFSB 3 Connecticut

State leaders meet to discuss potential third casino in Connecticut

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The debate over a possible new casino in Connecticut continues as the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans are urging lawmakers to move ahead with the plan for a third casino.

According to a study conducted by MGM, Fairfield County may be the best location for a third casino in Connecticut. This study runs contrary to an earlier study conducted by both the Mashantucket Pequots and the Mohegans that determined the area just north of Hartford County would be most suitable.

Last year, lawmakers approved a bill for a third casino. MGM has re-emerged with a lawsuit against the state and an argument against the prior decision of the state that allowed tribes to build off tribal land.

As MGM presented their case to lawmakers, the Schagticoke tribe has also re-emerged presenting the same argument.

"We were unconstitutionally denied the opportunity to start the process required to develop a third casino under special act 15 7," Chairman of the Schagticoke tribe, Richard Velky said to lawmakers.

 The Schagticoke tribe doesn’t have federal recognition.

Some lawmakers said they feel we should slow down and do an independent study. Some lawmakers want a closer look at what could have a major impact on the state.

“A study is critical, but it has to be a study that is done by an objective body, not the studies that are funded by MGM and the Duopoly that's trying to extend gambling in our state,” State Sen. Tony Hwang, who is a Republican on the commerce committee, said. 

Aside from the economic impact on the state, lawmakers are also looking at the social impact, such as gambling addictions, that a third casino would bring the state.

The two tribes have been talking with a few towns and are expected to announce where they would like their casino to be built in the near future. 

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