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Lamont, Tribes At Odds Over Casino Reopening

Patrons play craps at tables at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., in 2013.
Patrons play craps at tables at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn., in 2013.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has urged the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes not to reopen parts of their casinos as announced on June 1. 

Lamont says it would be a risky move for the tribes to open their casinos so soon. He says casinos attract large numbers of people from across state lines, many of them elderly.

“This is an enclosed area, a lot of older people in there, some of them with pre-existing conditions. Alcohol and food is involved, I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that we put public health first.”

Lamont says that includes trying to convince the tribes to hold off on reopening. And discussing with neighboring governors the possibility of a regionally coordinated reopening of casinos.

State Senator Cathy Osten’s district includes the two tribal casinos. She supports reopening the facilities on June 1. She says the tribal casinos play a vital role in the southeastern Connecticut economy. And more than 100 casinos across the country from California to upstate New York are now open.

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As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year. In addition to providing long-form reports and features for WSHU, he regularly contributes spot news to NPR, and has worked at the NPR National News Desk as part of NPR’s diversity initiative.
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