Nation | Tribe: MMCT Venture (Partnership of Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation)
171 Bridge Street
East Windsor, CT 06088
A new gaming deal negotiated in early 2021 between Gov. Lamont and the two tribes will stop the Tribal Winds Casino project for ten years if that deal is approved by the state legislature.
The Tribal Winds Casino received federal approval in March 2019 from the U.S. Department of Interior. As the COVID-19 pandemic surged through the remainder of the year, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes decided to suspend the project during the economic downturn.
The tribes have reserved the right to build the casino at a future date. Construction will take 18-24 months to complete.
The Tribal Winds Casino will be located 13 miles south of the new MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.
The casino location is 171 Bridge Street, East Windsor, CT where the former Showcase Cinema theater once stood. The theater was demolished in 2018 in preparing the construction site for the casino.
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The Tribal Winds Casino Project is an effort by Connecticut to offset the economic losses from the $960M MGM Springfield Casino which opened in 2018.
The authorization to build Connecticut's third casino is Public Act 17-89 - An Act Concerning the Regulation of Gaming and the Authorization of a Casino Gaming Facility in the State.
The act was passed by both houses of the legislature and signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on June 27, 2017.
In June 2018 the federal govenment gave its approval to the tribes to begin the project.
The start date was delayed by changes to the tribe-state gaming compacts which required approval of the U.S. Interior Department. The Department finally granted its approval in March 2019.
Construction will take 18-24 months to complete.
However, before construction begins it is stopped again by a lawsuit filed last summer by the property owner across the street from the casino site. Sofia's Plazas LLC claims the East Windsor Planning and Zoning Commission improperly granted approval for the project. The lawsuit must be cleared before construction can start. The case is scheduled to begin June 5, 2019 at the Superior Court in Hartford.
March 22, 2021
A new Connecticut gaming agreement was announced Friday that will effectively kills the Tribal Winds casino project in East Windsor. The ten year deal to bring sports betting and online gambling to Connecticut was made by Gov. Lamount, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribes, and the Connecticut Lottery. The agreement must next be approved by the state legislature.
Rep. Carol Hall, R-Enfield, said there is strong local support for the Tribal Winds Casino project. "We're all just flabbergasted. This was a project that everybody was supporting, so it's very confusing to me why the governor would meddle in that."
Mashantucket Pequot Tribe Chairman Rodney Butler says the governor's office had "legal concerns" about the casino project and insisted on ending it. Butler said, "We just agree to disagree, quite frankly, on that. But it was something that they weren't moving from. They were actually looking for a repeal of the prior legislation."
Butler believes the Tribal Winds project is still a possibility and said "We believe that that project works on the right scale. I think it's still a viable project."
December 15, 2020
The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes have federal and state approvals as a joint venture to build a new $300 million casino in East Windsor, CT. The planned location is 13 miles south of the MGM Springfield in Massachusetts.
Last week the tribes announced that construction of the casino, named Tribal Winds Casino, has been postponed indefinitely due to the economic impact of COVID-19 on the gaming industry. Both Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos are operating at 25% capacity. Attendance has dropped, and revenues are smaller.
For these reasons the tribes issued a public statement explaining they have no immediate plans to build the East Windsor casino, however, they reserve the right to do so in the future.
March 21, 2019
The federal government has finally announced approval of the Tribal Winds Casino allowing construction to begin. The approval will be official March 25th when it becomes published in the Federal Registry.
A long delay preceeded the approval due to investigations of the the Interior Department's previous secretary and acceptance by the Burea of Indian Affairs of the amended gaming compacts between the tribes and the state.
In a written statement from the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Rodney Butler, his tribe is ready to proceed with construction.
"Now that the approval of our amendment is secured and our exclusivity agreement with the state of Connecticut is reaffirmed, we will move forward with construction on Tribal Winds Casino in East Windsor and preserve much needed jobs and revenue," Butler said.
The East Windsor casino is a joint venture of the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. Both tribes have said they are ready to start coonstruction, which is estimated to take 18-24 months.
January 29, 2019
The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot Tribes today announced the new name of the casino they plan to build in East Windsor will be "Tribal Winds Casino".
Tribal Winds Casino project is aimed at countering the loss of gaming revenues from the opening of the $960 million MGM Springfield in August 2018.
The new casino is expected to create 2,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent staff jobs. It will also support another 1,000 indirect jobs in the local economy.
Mohegan Tribal Council Chairman, Kevin Brown, says the project is ready to start pending final approval. "We are ready to roll, to start construction and begin creating jobs and revenue. It's taken a lot of time, effort and resources to get this this point. We're excited to work with our partners in state government on the next phase of this exciting development."
The project has been delayed by changes to the state-tribe gaming compacts related to the East Windsor casino. Former Secretary or the U.S. Interior Department did not sign off on them before leaving office last December.
In a renewed effort to restart the process, the tribes are looking to the state legislature to drop its requirement for federal approval on that compact change.
At the same time they fiiled a new lawsuit in federal court claiming there was "improper political influence" on Sec. Zinke, and his decision was a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act.
September 30, 2018
On Saturday a decision was filed by a federal judge that prevents plans for the East Windsor casino from moving forward. The proposed casino project is a joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal nations. The casino project would be created to be direct competition for the nearby MGM Resort Springfield. This would have been the first casino in Connecticut to not be built on tribal land.
The decision was submitted by Judge Rudolph Contreras. A judge in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia. The judge ruled that there is no legal standing for the requested revisions to the current gaming agreement between the tribes and state to be made by the Department of the Interior Secretary.
In 2017 approval for the casino project was given with a contingency from the Department of the Interior based on the revisions being approved. This would have guaranteed that the current revenue sharing with the state would not suffer from the two tribal owned casinos. Those casinos are the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
If the approval could not be given, then the proposed casino would be denied from being built.
The federal government filed for a motion to dismiss the lawsuit from the tribes and Connecticut. That was approved by the judge. If there was an appeal made by the tribes or Connecticut, the judge also gave the right to intervene by MGM.
There is still intent from the tribes to find a way to progress forward with the casino plan.
June 14, 2018
On Wednesday new details for the East Windsor casino were released. They were illustrations for the design of the casino that is a joint venture between the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall.
Before construction on the new project can start, plans for the site have to be given approval from the Planning and Zoning Commission. If approved a permit for special-use will be issued allowing for the construction. Building permits also need to be approved for the developers.
A joint partnership was formed between the two tribes named MMCT Venture to develop the casino project. The group released the $300 million project's artist renderings.
The group is also confident that the approval will be given for the project to move forward.
An amended gaming compact has previously been approved and is in effect with the Mohegan Tribe. However, the amended compact has not been approved yet for the Mashantucket by the Department of the Interior.
The project has a delay due to not being able to receive the project's approval from the federal government. The MGM Springfield is scheduled to open within a few months. The tribes are hoping to that teir East Windsor casino will provide enough competition that the MGM Springfield will not detract from the tribe's casinos. They are the owners of the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods.
If construction is started in the fall, it is estimated that the casino could be finished by 2020.
The casino will be a single story at 200,000 square feet. A parking garage will be attached offering five levels of parking. Over 300 vehicles will be able to park in the garage. There will be 60 game tables and nearly 2,000 slot machines in operation. In addition there will be dining and a food court. As well as a lounge for VIPs.
650 jobs will be created by the new casino project.
UPDATE: U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke unexpectedly did not sign off on his department's recommendation before resigning from office.
June 01, 2018
Regulators for the federal government are allowing plans for a East Windsor casino to move forward. The project is a joint venture of two Native American tribes that are federally recognized.
On Friday it is expected that an approval notice will be written by the U.S. Department of Interior. The notice will make an amendment to the gaming compact between the Mohegan Tribe and the state of Connecticut. The amendment will change the terms of the agreement for the revenue sharing.
It is also expected that soon the Mashantucket Pequots will also be having amendments made to their gaming compact agreement with the state as well.
Before a new casino can be built that is not on tribal owned land, it is required under state law that special legislation must be made. This will be the first casino in the state not built on a reservation.
The new MGM Resorts casino is scheduled to open in Springfield, Massachusetts this summer. The two tribes are hopeful that their joint venture casino will provide strong competition against the new MGM.
As early as this fall construction on the East Windsor casino project could begin. Both tribes are hopeful to have the casino completed by spring 2020.
The casino is expected to cost $300 million to build. There will be a single level casino building and a parking structure attached with five stories. There will be parking for 1,750 vehicles in the garage. Plus another 318 of surface parking spots. Plans also include space for retail shopping, two or possibly three restaurants, and a bar.
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