Casinos to pay state $25 million

Kathy Woods Aug. 26, 2009, 1:21pm

Richard Blumenthal (D)

HARTFORD, Conn. (Legal Newsline)-Two major casinos in Connecticut have agreed to pay $25 million in slot revenue over a promotional game that allowed players to play for free.

Foxwoods and the Mohegan Sun have agreed to the terms of the settlement in order to resolve the lawsuit against the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe.

The lawsuit contends that certain patrons were allowed to play in a promotional program known as "Free Play." Foxwood's provided the patrons with coupons or electronic credits and allowed them to play up to the value of the credits.

Because of the size of the settlement legislative approval is needed. Lawmakers are expected to vote when session starts back up Thursday.

The state contends that the coupons or electronic credits constitutes a wager and should be calculated as such. Therefore, they should be added into the tribe's monthly contributions to the state. The contributions represent roughly 25 percent of the gross operating revenues from slot machines.

"This agreement is huge and historic-a tremendous precedent resolving disputed slot revenue significant to the state's solvency and symbolizing our shared stake in financial success," said Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.

The payments -- which include future payments, as both casinos are still offering the promotional game -- will be included in the monthly slot contribution they already make to the state.

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