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Connecticut News

Conn. Lawmakers To Bypass Federal Government In Bid For Third Casino

Foxwoods Casino
Bob Child
/
AP
Caitlin and Lynne Byers play the slot machines at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn.

Connecticut officials want to make a new bid for a long-planned tribal-run casino in East Windsor – even though the Interior Department brought the plan to a halt earlier this year. Now there’s a bill that would circumvent the department to authorize the casino.

The tribes want to build a casino in East Windsor to compete with MGM’s new casino in Springfield, Mass.

The bill would allow the plan to go ahead without permission from the Interior Department’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, which was a condition of an earlier bill.

“I’m moving forward so that we can get jobs and revenue into the state by disregarding the need for BIA approval. Essentially, that’s it. This will allow us to stabilize both the jobs and the revenue coming into the state, and I think that it’s necessary for us to complete the process,” said State Senator Cathy Osten, a Democrat whose district includes both of the state’s tribal-run casinos.

The New York Times reports Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is under investigation for meeting with MGM lobbyists before he blocked the tribes’ casino. Zinke is leaving office.

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