When Connecticut found out that MGM Resorts was in the process of opening out a new casino resort in Springfield, there were concerns from the state gambling association of declining revenues as they expected locals to cross the border and visit the Springfield facility.
The MGM Springfield casino is estimated to cost around $800 million. As a result, the state decided to pass a new bill that would allow the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes to open third casino in the state.
The new casino will be situated near the border and will look to encourage Connecticut gamblers to play within the state, rather than taking their business to Springfield. MGM Resorts wasn’t very happy when they learnt that the state had passed Special Act 15-7, “An Act Concerning Gaming”, on the 19th of June 2015 that gave exclusive rights to the two tribal casinos to build this third casino as they realized that the MGM Springfield facility will lose out on a percentage of revenue that they initially anticipated Connecticut.
MGM Resorts believes that the state should have had a fair process of getting proposals from other casino establishments and then deciding on who should get a license for the third casino.
MGM Resorts has decided to file a lawsuit against the state of Connecticut and hired Eric Holder, the former U.S. Attorney General to fight the case and Connecticut is be represented by George Jepsen, the state attorney general. Holder and Jespen have been political allies in the past but will now face each other in a battle that is expected to stay in the media spotlight.
Holder has already sent a letter across to Jespen on the 26th of October which said
Although Connecticut has the right — indeed, the responsibility — to promote economic growth, to seek to ameliorate the historical inequities visited upon Native Americans, and to create new jobs for its residents, the laws it enacts to achieve those goals must comply with the United States Constitution and Connecticut’s legal commitment to fair competition in state contracting. Special Act 15-7 fails both of these tests.
Jespen responded to the letter via his representative who stated that Jespen has great respect for Holder and his significant accomplishments but on this matter of MGM vs. the state of Connecticut would have to disagree with MGM and Holder’s legal conclusions.