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Interior moves to stop Mashantucket Pequot tribe from amending lawsuit

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Mashantucket Pequot Tribe

NEW LONDON  — Connecticut’s Mashantucket Pequot Tribe should not be allowed to amend its lawsuit against the department over a casino proposal, the U.S. Department of the Interior said in a new court filing.

The Day reported the department argued in its filing Wednesday that the tribe’s attempt should be denied due to “undue delay and futility.”

A U.S. District Court judge previously ruled that the state of Connecticut and the tribe didn’t have legal standing to force federal regulators to act on an amended gambling agreement that would have allowed for a casino in East Windsor.

The tribe said in its filing to amend the lawsuit that the department “buckled under undue political pressure” when it failed to act.

The Interior said regulations require it to act only in the case of amended gambling agreements that are “tribal-state compacts.”

Nevada lawmakers who receive campaign support from casino operator MGM Resorts opposed the deal, according to the tribe’s court filing. The proposed new casino is near an MGM casino in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The department said the tribe and the state don’t have sufficient facts to support their claim. The department said their lawsuit should have been amended before the judge’s ruling in September, and the plaintiffs “should not be allowed another bite at the apple.”

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