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Connecticut News

Tribe Drops Lawsuit Challenging Conn. Casino Law

Jessica Hill


The Schaghticoke tribe sued the state of Connecticut in March in response to a law that created a process for the state’s two federally recognized Indian tribes to open a new casino.

The Schaghticoke, who are based in Kent, say they’ve been unfairly treated. They’re not federally recognized like the Mashantucket Pequot or the Mohegan tribe. In 2015, the legislature voted to give the tribes the option of joining forces to seek a potential site for a casino outside their reservations. Lawmakers would still have to approve that casino.

In a statement, Schaghticoke Chief Richard Velky said they’ve decided to focus their attention on Connecticut’s 2017 legislative session, when they think they can get the state to reverse the law. Velky says it violates the constitution by not giving his tribe a fair and equal right to open its own casino.

The lawsuit had the backing of MGM, who plans to open a casino in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 2018. They also sued the state. Their case has been thrown out, but they’ve since appealed.