Tribes want to be part of any potential casino expansion

HARTFORD — The state’s two federally recognized tribes say they “want to be part of the discussion” if the General Assembly wants to expand gambling further, especially to Bridgeport.

The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribal leaders sent a letter Wednesday to legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy asking to be included in any potential talks.

The letter comes a day after MGM Resorts International’s top executive Jim Murren spoke to a Bridgeport business group, touting the company’s proposal for a $675 million resort casino in Bridgeport. He contends the revenue-sharing agreement Connecticut signed more than two decades ago with the tribes, granting them exclusive rights to casino gambling, “should be revisited.”

The office of mayor Joseph Ganim released the following statement:

“Mayor Ganim is glad to hear that Mohegan Sun has formed a partnership with the Arena, and that we can soon expect to provide our residents of Bridgeport and surrounding towns with more live entertainment options.   This agreement along with the development of the Amphitheatre will help Bridgeport move to the forefront as a destination place for family and friends.”

Lawmakers this year allowed the tribes to open a jointly-owned casino in East Windsor, dismissing MGM’s request to end the monopoly.