MGM Resorts International has lost another round in a court fight aimed at giving it leverage against Native American tribes in Connecticut as they compete over casino customers.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan agreed Wednesday that a Connecticut judge was right to dismiss MGM's lawsuit against the state.
MGM claimed it was placed at a competitive disadvantage. It said Connecticut created a special registration pathway for the state's two federally recognized tribes to build casinos on non-tribal land.
The appeals court called MGM's fears speculative. It noted that the developer of casinos and other commercial gaming enterprises has no specific plans to develop a casino in Connecticut.
“We view today's ruling as nothing more than a matter of timing and remain undeterred in our goal of having the opportunity to compete in Connecticut,” Uri Clinton, senior vice president and legal counsel for MGM Resorts, said in a statement.
An MGM Resorts International casino is slated to open late next year in nearby Springfield, Massachusetts.
"We're gratified that the Court of Appeals has upheld the dismissal of MGM’s lawsuit. Our focus remains on saving the thousands of jobs and millions in state tax revenue that would have been lost had the legislature not passed SB 957. We look forward to developing an exciting new casino and continuing to build our state’s economy in the weeks and months ahead," Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council, and Kevin Brown, chairman of the Mohegan Tribal Council, said in a statement.