As various scenarios for a fourth casino in Connecticut continue to play out, the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation is launching another effort at gaining federal recognition, with a casino of their own possibly being one of the results.
The Schaghticokes, based in Kent, had received federal recognition in 2004, but the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs reversed that decision the following year, citing opposition from the state and several local governments. The nation said it will file another petition in July, which would be its last such effort that is legally allowed.
Approval of its motion would take several months to process. Details of where the casino would be located are yet to be determined, but nation leaders said Fairfield County could be one consideration.
Negotiations are still ongoing between the state, Bridgeport officials and the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes over opening a casino in that city, which has also been targeted by MGM Resorts as the site of what would be Connecticut’s fourth casino. The tribes, which respectively operate the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville and Foxwoods in Mashantucket, have gained approval to jointly operate a third casino, Tribal Winds, in East Windsor under the MMCT joint venture banner.
Those two tribes have threatened to withhold slots revenue from the state – some $270 million a year – if a commercial operator is approved within Connecticut.
Meanwhile, Massachusetts’ third casino – Encore Boston Harbor – opened in Everett, outside of Boston, on Sunday.