Recent legislation passed in Connecticut grants two Indian tribes an exclusive right to pursue development of the state’s third casino. On one hand, financial benefits stemming from casinos enhance tribal selfsufficiency, foster tribal wealth, and provide an economic benefit to the state. On the other hand, legislation that allows for these benefits often does so by singling out Indians as a separate and distinct entity. Connecticut’s legislation comes at a precarious time as a legal attack on the preferential treatment of Indians gains traction in the courts. As it now stands, federal statutes singling out Indians are not subject to heightened judicial scrutiny, and will be upheld by a court so long as a legitimate end is furthered. This Note seeks to explore the boundaries of Connecticut’s law in comparison with the federal Indian gaming regulatory framework and contemplates whether the law can serve a legitimate end. After describing and analyzing the state statute, this Note then suggests that the current void of legal guidance over preferential state tribal gaming laws will allow states like Connecticut to exploit Indians in the name of money.
Ercolano, Allison S., "Gambling with Equal Protection: Connecticut's Exploitation of Mancari and the Tribal Gaming Framework Notes" (2016). Connecticut Law Review. 328.