Attorney General's Opinion
Attorney General, Richard Blumenthal
May 8, 2003
Susan G. Townsley
Division of Special Revenue
555 Russell Road
Newington, CT 06111
Dear Ms. Townsley:
We write to clarify our April 14, 2003 opinion concerning whether the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe (the "Tribe") could conduct Casino Night events at Foxwoods Casino ("Foxwoods") to benefit state charities. This issue had arisen in the wake of action by the Connecticut General Assembly earlier this year repealing the Games of Chance Act, which had allowed charities to run Las Vegas Nights events within the state as fundraisers, subject to the provisions of the Act. As a result of this repeal, charitable organizations may no longer legally conduct Las Vegas Night events in this State. In our April 14, 2003 opinion, we determined that the Tribe could conduct Las Vegas Night or Casino Night events at Foxwoods to benefit a state charity as long as the Tribe, and not the charity, runs the event, the event is held at Foxwoods and the Tribe uses its gaming equipment and personnel. Since our opinion was issued, a question has arisen as to whether state charitable organizations that will benefit from a Casino Night fundraising event held at Foxwoods may sell tickets to the event.
We conclude that, in light of the Legislature's clear mandate to disallow charitable organizations from conducting Las Vegas Night events, charities may not sell tickets to the gambling portion of the event, even though the event will be held at Foxwoods. Tickets to the gambling portion of the event and gambling chips must be sold by the Tribe. Charities may, however, sell tickets to those portions of the event that do not include casino-type gaming activities, such as a dinner, dance or other non-gambling activity.<p. class="stdfont"></p.>
We trust that this letter clarifies this issue.
Very truly yours,