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    Saturday, August 13, 2022

    Top Stories 2018: No third casino

    Demolition begins of the old, abandoned Showcase Cinemas off Interstate 91 in East Windsor, Conn., on March 5, 2018, to make way for a casino to be jointly developed by the operators of Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. The project has been delayed repeatedly and even with the demolition, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes haven't committed to when construction will actually begin. (John Woike/Hartford Courant via AP)

    At year’s end, Connecticut’s third casino — a project jointly pursued by the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes — remains unbuilt, the likelihood of its materializing as uncertain as ever.

    The tribes cleared the casino’s East Windsor site in the spring but never secured the key federal approvals they needed to start construction. A federal lawsuit, in which the tribes and the state sought to compel the U.S. Department of the Interior to grant the approvals, languished most of the year. Meanwhile, MGM Resorts International, the tribes’ nemesis, continued to push for legislative approval of an open bidding process to facilitate its plan for a Bridgeport casino. A 2017 version of the bill had failed to get a vote but this year's version passed the House before dying.

    MGM Resorts vowed to try again in 2019.

    And, in August, MGM opened MGM Springfield, the western Massachusetts resort casino that’s expected to threaten the tribes’ southeastern Connecticut facilities, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun.

    b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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