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Schagticoke Chief testifies about two bills under consideration in Conn.

The leader of the Kent-based Schagticoke Tribal Nation was busy this week, testifying before state legislative committees on two bills and also filing a lawsuit against the state.  Chief Richard Velky is joining MGM in filing a suit claiming the bill allowing a 3rd casino in Connecticut, run by the federally recognized Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots, is unconstitutional.


A bill being considered by a state legislative committee this week calls for a new study about the expansion of casino gaming in Connecticut.  The two federally recognized tribes in Connecticut, The Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots, would be allowed to build the casino together.


An MGM official said the bill denies them and the Schagticokes a fair opportunity to compete for Connecticut 1sty commercial casino not on tribal land.  They says the process should be open to any interested bidders and also called for public participation, including local referendum.


Velky testified that they are willing and able to participate in that development process.  He says the result of the study could lead to his tribe's participation in this economic development opportunity, which could be life-changing for many members and create thousands of jobs.


Velky also testified before the Public Safety Committee about Act Concerning Gaming.  He says tribal gaming is about creating an economic opportunity for an impoverished people.  He says the tribe would use that opportunity to create jobs for members and for surrounding communities.

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Markley van Camp Robbins

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