Federal approval delays not stopping tribal plans for Connecticut casino

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes are pressing on with its plan to build a casino near the Connecticut border with Massachusetts, even though they still don’t have the required federal approvals.

On Monday, demolition crews began clearing the site in East Windsor where the two federally recognized tribes plan to build their jointly-owned casino. The site, which housed the former Showcase Cinemas, will be knocked down to make way for the 200,000 square foot gambling and entertainment establishment.

The tribal casino, which is expected to open “inside of two years,” wants to compete with the soon-to-open MGM Resorts casino in Springfield, Massachusetts. Scheduled to open in fall, the $950 million Springfield casino lies 13 miles south of the tribes’ planned East Windsor venue.

The tribes have yet to get the U.S. Department of the Interior’s permission to operate a casino in East Windsor, although its officials are confident that the approval is already within their reach. Mohegan Tribal Council President Kevin Brown was quoted by MassLive saying, the tribes “expect to get that approval in the late spring.”

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