State iGaming Compact with Mohegan Sun Causes Friction
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has signed a deal with the Mohegan Sun for online gaming and sports betting services. The second tribe in the state feels this is disrespectful.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont announced this week that a deal was reached with the Mohegan Sun that expands the tribes Class III gaming compact. With the change, the tribe will now be able to offer online casino gaming and sports betting. While this is good for the tribe, a second tribe in the state of Connecticut feels the decision was disrespectful, as they too are trying to work out a compact deal. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has spoken out now about the new compact of the Mohegan Sun.
Mohegan Sun Compact Details
First, it is important to know the details of the Mohegan Sun’s new compact. As stated, the tribe will be able to offer online gaming and sports betting. Online casino revenues generated by the tribe will be taxed at 20%. For sports betting revenues, the tax rate is a lower 13.75%.
The changes to the compact are good for 10 years. If the tribe and state decide to continue the amendments, there is a five-year extension option. According to the governor, the Mohegan Sun was open to negotiation and helps push the state to a positive path for improvement with the launch of iGaming.
The Mohegan Sun is the operator of a casino by the same name and continues to pay taxes on slot gaming revenue to the state. A total of 25% is paid, but slot revenues have decreased over the past few years. With iGaming coming into the picture, more revenues will be generated which will help not only the state but also the tribe.
Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation Responds
Owner of the Foxwoods casino, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation has responded to the announcement regarding the Mohegan Sun. The tribe is close to closing a deal with the state as well and were not happy with the public actions of the governor, calling it disrespectful.
Rodney Butler, the chairman of the tribe, made the comments, stating further that the tribe and Lamont continue to struggle with a rounding error connected to the percentage of gaming revenues that will go to the state from online gambling.
Butler said that because the tribe is small, they must focus on sustainability in the long run. A half million and a million dollars make a difference in the ability to service the tribal population.
The state is pushing for the tribe to sign the compact as it stands now. According to Paul Mounds, the chief of staff for the Lamont administration, the same deal presented to the Mashantuckets was given to the Mohegan Tribe.
Mounds stated that the governor is urging the Mashantucket to join the agreement immediately. Lawmakers in the section of the state where the tribe are located frustrated over the process and do not agree with the governor’s stance.
In a letter to the governor, 17 legislators showed their frustration towards the agreement and say it is incomplete. They feel the agreement needs to include both tribes and they will not support it unless it does.
For decades, the two tribes have offered the same type of gaming and have shared the same compacts. This time around, the compacts are separated and that seems to be a point of contention for some. However, with the Mohegan Sun already having a new compact, it doesn’t seem that they would go back to have a joint one with the other tribe.
For now, we will have to wait and see what happens. Will the negotiations continue? Which side will waiver? At some point, someone has to give a little or the talks will just continue without any movement or change, which will lead to the online gambling market stalling in the state.