Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun Set to Partially Reopen in June

Gov. Lamont: 'That's Incredibly Risky.'

Daniela Doncel
May 20, 2020 - 6:42 pm

MASHANTUCKET and UNCASVILLE, Conn. (WTIC Radio) - The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe announced Wednesday Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun will begin reopening on June 1.

It'll be a partial reopening as part of Connecticut's phase one to reopen, Tribe officials said in a statement, and it'll be with new safety protocols and guidelines.

According to officials, the two tribes collaborated to establish the new protocols, though each tribe has its own set of policies to address the unique needs of their casinos.

Among the new protocols is the restriction of visitors. Both Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun will only cater to Connecticut and Rhode Island residents, officials said, with no out-of-state buses allowed and no out-of-state marketing.

Also, certain areas will be closed, including the concert venues, the buffets and poker rooms. Officials said tenant restaurants will be open for take-out only.

"We're proud to partner with the Mohegan Tribe to ensure we develop the most responsible plan for helping the state of Connecticut recover swiftly and safely from the crippling economic impact of this pandemic," Rodney Butler, the Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said.

At his daily COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, Governor Lamont said state leaders had to talk to tribal leaders again about this.

"I think that's incredibly risky," Lamont said, "It's risky for people who work at casinos, risky for people who go to casinos, it's risky for the region because you have a lot of employees who go back out to the region."

Lamont said he's working with regional governors to coordinate and align reopenings together.

Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, James Gessner, said in a statement, "The new guidelines, which were shared with state officials weeks ago, are based off recommendations from experts nationally and around the globe and have been implemented at several of our other resort destinations across the country -- some of which are now opened or will be later this month."