Ray Hackett of the Norwich Bulletin writes:
. . . The Las Vegas Night statute was critical because it was the basis — some say loophole — that the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in 1983 used in ruling the Mashantucket Pequots were “entitled” to open a casino in Connecticut.
Fearing that the Eastern Pequots — and other “state-recognized” tribes applying for federal recognition — might cause an explosion of casinos across the state, the Legislature quickly repealed the Las Vegas Night statute.
Ta-Dah: casino gambling was officially outlawed in Connecticut — with two exceptions, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.
Fast forward to last year. In a February 2014 trip to Washington, D.C., Gov. Dannel P. Malloy hand delivers letters to President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and the secretary of the interior, noting Connecticut’s strong opposition to new Bureau of Indian Affairs regulations making it easier for tribes to win federal recognition.
In addition to land claims, the fear was that the Eastern Pequots, Golden Hill Paugussett of Colchester and Trumbull and the Schaghticoke of Kent would seek to build casinos. Also writing letters in opposition are Attorney General George Jepsen, now Sen. Blumenthal and various first selectmen. . .