It has been revealed that plans to open Connecticut’s new East Windsor Satellite Casino have been pushed back to as late as the end of 2019.
The 300 million dollar project has been plagued by numerous delays since its early announcement to build on a twenty-six-acre site, which had once been home to a former movie theater. The plans were to demolish the theater and, in its place, build the casino.
Though the process of gaining a permit has been anything but straightforward, and it is the leaders of Connecticut’s two native tribes who have been the driving force of its implementation, it has been claimed that there has been a lack of necessary authorization on both tribes’ parts, which has prevented any further process.
More frustrating for the local area are the further reports suggesting that December 2019 could be pushed back once again if approval continues to be delayed. Though it only requires a six-week estimated period to clear the original site as it now stands, it is the actual construction of the casino itself that can take around twenty months to complete, which causes the worry.
A Casino Built by Two Tribes
The creation of the East Windsor Casino has been one of significant interest to those in the industry due to it being a joint venture between two Native American tribes.
By combining forces to build this casino, the Mohegan Sun Indians and the Mashantucket Pequot Indians have claimed their stake on this off-sovereign land by determining to build a casino that will protect jobs and also the gambling revenue that it derives.
The request to begin on such a project was officially confirmed in 2017, but it came with an attached condition which required both tribes to endorse the necessary updating gaming compacts set out by the US Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
However, so far, the Department of the Interior states that no such formal confirmation has been received at their end from any federal agency to confirm such an endorsement, and it is that which has now forced back work on the large build, leaving the project in its current state of jeopardy.
Timing Is Crucial Here
This delay signals yet another complication in the process and is just one of many setbacks the tribes have had to deal with since the decision was made to build in Connecticut.
With MGM Springfield advancing with their plans to open their latest casino, both tribes have understood that the timing of the East Windsor opening was crucial if they were to keep Connecticut customers from being poached by MGM in a bid to lure them to their vast resort.
Now, with these further delays occurring, there is a sense among the tribes that MGM Springfield will now have its chance to open and capitalize on one of the largest regional monopolies, considering that East Windsor’s casino remains only on paper.
MGM Could Benefit from Such Delays
That may not be good news for the tribes themselves, but it’s probably not going to harm MGM, who have, for some time now, been battling to convince the government in Connecticut to consider implementing competitive bidding processes to make the casino bids in the area fair to all parties involved.
However, those involved in the process of getting East Windsor up and running claim such remarks are merely stalling tactics designed to give MGM the additional time and upper hand with their Springfield resort.
The situation is still ongoing, with both tribal leaders expecting to receive the necessary approval around late springtime. Some experts believe this initial process could continue for much longer than that.