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    Sunday, June 23, 2024

    Casinos likely to stay closed through (at least) Memorial Day

    Tribal and casino vehicles block the entrances to the Foxwoods Resort and Casino property Tuesday, April 7, 2020. (Sean D. Elliot/The Day)
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    Neither casino is likely to open for Memorial Day.

    While few expected they would, Mohegan Sun ruled it out Tuesday and Foxwoods Resort Casino nearly did.

    In an online posting, Mohegan Sun announced it was extending its coronavirus-induced shutdown for at least another two weeks, through Tuesday, May 26, the day after Memorial Day.

    And, in an email, Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Foxwoods’ owner, wrote that while Foxwoods has not set a date for reopening, “on or before Memorial Day is not likely given the amount of preparations our team is doing to make Foxwoods a safe environment for team members and guests alike.”

    Foxwoods management announced Friday that the casino will lay off most of its more than 5,000 employees on May 31, ending their health benefits. The workforce has been furloughed with benefits since March 17, the date on which both casinos closed.

    Foxwoods informed employees that some of them will be asked to return to work for the as-yet-unscheduled first phase of reopening. Initially, Foxwoods plans to open the Grand Pequot and Great Cedar casino floors, the Grand Pequot Hotel and some food and beverage outlets.

    Mohegan Sun said it has not decided on a specific reopening date.

    “We are continuing to maintain the property and have started to really focus on implementing various safety and cleaning measures throughout Mohegan Sun,” said Jeff Hamilton, the casino’s president and general manager. “Projects have slowed significantly during the temporary closure, however the goal is to resume them in the near future.”

    Mohegan Sun has rescheduled or canceled all events through June, including Barrett-Jackson’s 5th annual Northeast Auction of collector cars, which had been set for June 24-27. Foxwoods has rescheduled or canceled all events through May.

    Gov. Ned Lamont plans to ease restrictions on some nonessential businesses, including restaurants, May 20.


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