Another Scuffle in Connecticut Between Tribes and Gov Lamont

Another Scuffle in Connecticut Between Tribes and Gov Lamont

The state of Connecticut has seen frequent showdowns between the tribes and Governor Ned Lamont in the past few months. Their newest issue is related to the reopening of tribal properties.

Two tribes want to reopen

Connecticut has two federally recognized tribes- the Mohegans and the Mashantucket Pequots. Since they are federally recognized, they are not bound by the rules of state and local authorities. However, they shut down their casinos in March in solidarity with the governor’s decision of closing non-essential businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Another Scuffle in Connecticut Between Tribes and Gov Lamont

Now, both the tribes want to reopen their facilities and have promised to follow “extraordinary measures” to protect their staff as well as guests. On Monday, Lamont said that he had a meeting with the representatives of both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos. He said,

“I feel strongly, and my regional governors feel strongly — because I’ve talked to all of them — that it would be premature to open the casinos in the very near term.”

He said that the casinos feel they need to reopen urgently but the state’s reopening committee believes otherwise.

The tribal monopoly on casinos

Connecticut has only two casinos- the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, operated by the federally recognized tribes. Therefore, they hold a monopoly over the state’s gaming market. A group of lawmakers from southeast Connecticut, where both properties are located, wrote a letter to the governor last week. They asked for assistance from the state to reopen the casinos which are one of the biggest employers in the region. They also noted that the region is facing an “untenable” economic situation.

James Gessner, the chairman of Mohegan also issues a media statement on Monday and said that the tribe has made extensive investments to bring cutting edge technology and work on creating safety guidelines that match with expert opinions from around the globe. He said that reopening will not occur if they do not have the highest possible levels of preparation and safety at their property. He also noted that they have not announced a reopening date as of yet.

Connecticut has 38,430 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and recorded 3,472 deaths. The state has already started to relax its restrictions. Some businesses like malls and restaurants will be reopening on Wednesday. Gov Lamont is of the view that casinos should not reopen in May or June. However, he does not hold any legal power to enforce his vision on the tribes.

About sherlock

Sherlock Gomes loves to write and express his views on anything related to Gaming, Gambling, & Casino. He has been covering Gaming for more than two years now.