MGM resorts loses again in fight against tribal casino

  • MGM Resorts’ legal challenge rejected by US Court of Appeals
  • Casino group is trying to block a joint venture Connecticut casino

MGM Resorts has suffered another legal blow in its attempts to challenge a Connecticut law giving permission for two tribal gaming operators to build a third land-based casino.

The law authorized a joint venture casino by Connecticut’s two casino operators, the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, who currently run the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts Casino.

An initial challenge by MGM was rejected by a Connecticut court and in June, a federal appeals court dismissed a further appeal by MGM.

Now the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has delivered a third defeat to MGM by denying their bid to have the June appeal reheard.

MGM had requested a rehearing by the same original three-judge panel or a full slate of Court justices, but in its decision released on Monday, the Court rejected both options, though did not detail its reasoning.

Third casino

The tribes are keen to build a third casino in the north of the state to counteract the effect of the MGM Springfield casino, which is due to open in 2018 just across the border in Massachusetts.

Their joint venture plan included a commitment to offer the state a quarter of gaming revenue if the plan was approved, but the tribes also threatened to halt payments to state coffers from their current casinos if the state opted for an open-tender process.

MGM’s argued that the law was in violation of the US Constitution’s Equal Protection and Commerce clauses, since it did not permit other operators to bid for a third casino licence.

The company has yet to respond publicly to the Court’s verdict.

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