Tribal recognition & casino talk

casino 3The Ridgefield Press – Three state recognized tribes that are seeking federal recognition could push to open more casinos across Connecticut, which has local officials worried about traffic and land claims in the area.

The Golden Hill Paugussetts in Colchester and Trumbull, the Eastern Pequots in North Stonington, and the Schaghticokes in Kent are closing on an approval from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs that will change the current standard of proof required for tribes.

“The casino issue is percolating again,” said First Selectman Rudy Marconi on Monday. The tribes are “trying to get the regulations relaxed so they can achieve recognition, thereby opening the doorway to the potential of more casinos.”

Mr. Marconi reassured that the former Union Carbide headquarters in Danbury, near the Ridgefield border, “is not a concern now.”

“That particular property is the subject of a huge build-out of residential units now — 2,200 to 2,400 — thereby eliminating that as a potential location,” Mr. Marconi said of the property that was rumored to be home of the state’s next casino after Union Carbide became a wholly owned subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company in 2001.

The proposed change has awakened dormant plans to build a casino in Bridgeport as well as other cities and towns in close proximity to the state of New York.

“There are other locations they’re looking at to access the New York market,” Mr. Marconi said, “and that’s our concern.

“If you recall, 12 to 15 years ago, the Golden Hill Paugussetts attempted to lay claim to a multitude of properties not too far from Ridgefield,” he added. “The concern has to do with the recognition process.”


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