EAST WINDSOR, CT — Plans to build a casino and entertainment center on the site of the old Showcase Cinemas theater complex in East Windsor have been put on hold, according to an announcement. Officials announced Wednesday that due to the impacts of COVID-19, a project planned to bring a casino to East Windsor has been halted. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and Mohegan Tribe.
- 2 days ago 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.
- Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun’s joint casino project in East Windsor, Connecticut, is being indefinitely suspended. (Image: Tribal Winds) The long-delayed $200 million-$300 million casino that was to.
Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun say they won’t build a casino in East Windsor -- for now. The controversial project that united the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes could be the casualty of a bigger plan that involves exclusive rights to operate sports betting in Connecticut.
In a written statement, a spokesman for the joint Mashantucket Mohegan Connecticut venture said the best thing the tribes could do at a time when they’re dealing with the fallout from COVID-19 is to focus on the success of their two existing casinos.
While the tribes aren’t saying the project is dead, the timing is interesting -- particularly as Gov. Ned Lamont continues to dangle a possible sports betting deal to the Mohegans and Mashantucket Pequots as a way to neutralize litigation from MGM Resorts International.
The Las Vegas gaming giant has already sued over the East Windsor project in federal court. Lamont has previously touted the scrapping of plans for the third casino as a step toward his goal of getting a “global resolution” on sports betting.
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On Wednesday, answering questions at a news conference, he wasn’t quite as direct.
“No, it wasn’t a condition,” the governor said, “but I think you know it was a source of aggravation to some of the outside casino places that had objections there. We’re trying to reach an accommodation where we can get sports betting and even iGaming going in the state [and] do it in a way that doesn’t prompt a litigation war of sorts.”
MGM has contended all along that it should have gotten a fair shake in securing a license for what’s essentially a commercial casino -- one built off tribal land and in direct competition with MGM’s Springfield, Massachusetts, property.
MGM wasn’t immediately available to comment for this story.
Sibaya casino trading hours. East Windsor First Selectman Jason Bowsza also hasn’t responded to Connecticut Public, but he did say in the statement provided by the tribes that the town respects the “long view approach” they’re taking before investing in a brick-and-mortar casino during a pandemic.
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.
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'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.
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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.