The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe says it may dispute the stateâ€™s jurisdiction, if a bill is passed to ban smoking at casinos in Connecticut.
The senate bill would end an exemption the casinos have enjoyed to the ban on smoking on premises covered by a liquor permit. The bill is supported by some dealers, who say theyâ€™ve experienced health problems from second hand smoke. But itâ€™s opposed by the owners of Foxwoods, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. Foxwoods management says there are non smoking sections already in the casino, and that all of its retail, restaurant and theater space is also smoke free. It also points to what it says is a state-of-the-art air handling system throughout the property, installed to improve air quality. In addition, according to tribe spokesman Bruce McDonald, there is a larger issue.
"The tribe feels that there are serious questions about jurisdiction. We donâ€™t think that this is a matter the state legislature should rush into without giving consideration to our view that the tribe has certain inherent sovereign rights on its reservation."
A public hearing on the bill is due to be held on Friday.