Gov. Ned Lamont, Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans are near agreement bringing online gambling to Connecticut

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Stephen Singer, Hartford Courant
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Gov. Ned Lamont’s chief of staff and the head of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation told state lawmakers Tuesday an agreement is near on a rewrite of gambling rules in Connecticut that would allow online gambling.

“When it comes to the two tribal nations we are much closer with the Mohegans at this time,” said Paul Mounds, Lamont’s chief of staff.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, which operates Foxwoods Resort Casino, said “significant compromise” by the tribes has brought the sides close to agreement.

“We are literally on the one-inch line,” he said.

Butler said the deal “significantly exceeds” the nearly $50 million Lamont included in his proposed budget.

“You’ll be pleased, the citizens of Connecticut will be pleased, we’ll all be pleased,” he said. “I promise you that.”

Ray Pineault, president and general manager of the Mohegan Sun, appeared before the committee, but did not comment on negotiations with the administration and Mashantucket Pequots.

Lamont, the Mashantucket Pequots and Mohegans have been engaged in on-again, off-again negotiations related to their compact with the state giving them exclusive rights to gambling in Connecticut. In exchange, the state takes 25% of slot revenue, which has yielded $9 billion since the early 1990s.

Negotiations have focused on the exclusivity of gambling guaranteed in the state compact with the tribal nations, revenue and economic development.

Stephen Singer can be reached at ssinger@courant.com.