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Anti-Gambling Group Aiming at Foxwoods

26 August 2003

CONNECTICUT – As reported by the Hartford Courant: "Not content with at least temporarily blocking new Indian casinos in Connecticut, a statewide anti-gambling expansion group is now hunting bigger game - Foxwoods Resort Casino and its development plans.

"`We think this project is a great battleground,' said Jeff Benedict, president of the Connecticut Alliance Against Casino Expansion and longtime nemesis of the Mashantucket Pequot Indian tribe, which owns Foxwoods. `We feel we have taken the necessary steps to stop new casinos. What we haven't done is stop casino expansion.'

"Foxwoods plans to open two championship golf courses next year and recently began construction of a $100 million addition that would add 825 slot machines, plus more parking, restaurants and retail stores. Tribal leaders have said more development is likely in coming years as the casino competes with Mohegan Sun for the lucrative New England gaming market.

"…Benedict said his group wants to see that Foxwoods - considered the world's largest and most profitable single casino - does not get any bigger. Recently his group hired the Washington, D.C., law firm of Perkins Coie to make a comprehensive review of development by Foxwoods, including proposals to widen and expand Route 2. The group maintains a computerized e-mail database that can contact a network of 20,000 citizens instantly.

"…Last year, the alliance led support for the successful effort to ban charitable Las Vegas nights by the state legislature, a measure that will make it more difficult for new tribal casinos to open in the state. Indian tribes and their supporters say the new law is an illegal attempt to block future casinos while allowing existing ones to remain open…"

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