The Chief of the Kent-based Schaghticoke Tribal Nation plans to file a lawsuit Monday against the State Of Connecticut over plans for a third casino in the state. Chief Richard Velky says a bill allowing for a commercial casino on non-Indian property, exclusive to the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans, violates the 14th Amendment.
Velky said in a statement Friday that without any competitive bidding or gaming study, Connecticut shut out the Schaghticokes from the ability to develop a highly-valuable commercial enterprise. He continued by saying that his Tribal Nation should have the same right to pursue this economic opportunity under the Equal Protection clauses of both the federal and state Constitutions.
The Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans are the only two federally recognized Indian Tribes in Connecticut.
But Velky said the state has a long history of discriminating against the Schaghticokes as they try to gain federal recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. He noted that one member of the state's Congressional delegation submitted legislation against the easing of requirements for recognition, supposedly because they didn't want another casino in Connecticut.