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Despite low rivalry, Connecticut tribes devise new casinos

HARTFORD, Conn. — For a leaders of dual Connecticut tribes proposing to build new casinos together, some of a toughest crowds to win over have been their possess tribes, business rivals with a story of dispute that dates to a electrocute scarcely 400 years ago.

Building a fondness with a Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has reminded Mohegan Tribe Chairman Kevin Brown, a late U.S. Army colonel, of his work perplexing to move together Muslim factions in Iraq.

“I spent a good apportionment of my life in Iraq perplexing to combine a Sunni and Shia genealogical leaders,” pronounced Brown, a West Point graduate. “Now I’m doing it during home.”

The Connecticut tribes, driven together by a hazard of outward competition, have a lot of story to overcome. For dual decades they have operated dual of a world’s largest casino resorts — Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods — usually 7 miles detached in southeastern Connecticut. And prolonged before that there was a 1637 conflict in that a Mohegans, associated with a English and another tribe, killed scores of aged men, women and children in a raid on a Pequot village.

In a corner talk with The Associated Press, Brown and Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler described conversations they had over a final several months as they famous a need for action, huddled with their genealogical councils and met with lawmakers before a phenomenon this month of legislation that would have them run as many as 3 new, tiny casinos.

A branch indicate came on Nov. 5, when Massachusetts electorate privileged a approach in a referendum for as many as 3 new casinos opposite a state line.

“We had to start relocating brazen since it was diversion on,” Brown said. “Competition from Massachusetts became a clear reality.”

The tribes had begun teaming adult on some issues in new years, holding corner talks with Connecticut’s administrator that led, for example, to a rebate in a participation of state military during a casinos to reduce a volume they have to repay a state. But a apocalyptic forecasts for a effects of new foe on their flagship casinos called out for something bigger.

The thought of “satellite” casinos had been batted around before, and as Butler and Brown discussed their options, they concluded a timing was right.

“The stars were aligning,” Butler said.

Some state lawmakers, meanwhile, were prodding a tribes to come forward with a devise to residence a hazard from Massachusetts. The casinos are some of a region’s biggest employers, and a tribes reason a cards in any enlargement devise since they have disdainful gambling rights underneath a agreement that transfers 25 percent of slot-machine income to a state.

State Rep. Stephen Dargan pronounced he and state Sen. Tim Larson, his associate authority on a Public Safety Committee, contacted a tribes some-more than a month ago out of regard for safeguarding jobs.

“We reached out to tribes and said, ‘Hey, we guys aren’t unequivocally assisting a means here. You guys need to strech out to a particular care of a 4 caucuses,’” Dargan said. “The tribes started doing that a past month or so to try and sell what that product is.”

After a whirlwind 3 weeks, genealogical leaders seemed during a news discussion with lawmakers kinship leaders on Mar 10 to announce a new legislation. As a offer creates a approach by a General Assembly, Brown and Butler pronounced they will be classification out with their genealogical councils how accurately a partnership competence work.

“It doesn’t come but a hurdles for certain,” Butler said. “There’s some longstanding tough feelings that go behind for centuries. People have a tough time vouchsafing some of those things go.”

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This element might not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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