Connecticut Tribe Leader Said He Hopes East Windsor Casino Can Still Be Built

Saturday 12th December 2020

The head of Connecticut's Mohegan Tribe said he remains hopeful a new casino can still be built in East Windsor, even though tribal officials announced this week now is not the time.

The two tribes operating casinos in Connecticut, the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots, had joined forces and planned to build a new casino called Tribal Winds.

But on Wednesday, they announced they were postponing the project indefinitely.

"It's unfortunate that, you know, a global pandemic happened, and it's just has forced us to put things on hold," James Gessner, the chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, said in an interview Friday.

East Windsor First Selectman Jason Bowsza said he wasn't surprised by the news.

"I think it makes a lot for them to make sure they have their existing operations on solid footing before they look to expand," he said.

One possible consideration in all this: Governor Ned Lamont has indicated the East Windsor casino was complicating a potential deal on sports betting in the state.

Connecticut's two existing tribal casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, have seen significant drops in revenue since the pandemic began.

The slot revenues at Mohegan Sun were about 18% lower in October 2020 than in October of 2019. At Foxwoods, slot revenues declined 24% during the same period.

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