Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut has extended its closure, planning not to reopen at least until after Memorial Day, May 25.
“We are continuing to work with local and regional health experts and government officials in order to make an informed decision on a reopening date, which we hope to announce very soon,” Mohegan Sun wrote on its Facebook page.
While Mohegan updated its website to state that it will be closed through May 26, Foxwoods Resort Casino has not set a possible day for reopening, Hartford Courant reports. “Our current plans don’t have a specific opening date,” Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler told the Fairfield Citizen, “but 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 guest alike."
Gov. Ned Lamont said in a press briefing last week that he is in close contact with tribal leaders to ensure when the casinos are reopened, they are done so in a way that encourages social distancing and cleanliness. The two state’s tribal-owned casinos have been closed since mid-March in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. It is the first time both casinos have closed since their openings in the 1990s.
The casinos reported a drop in slot revenue of more than 60% in March, as the coronavirus took its toll on the gambling sites. The casinos give 25% of slot revenue to the state. The lack of slot revenue is one of many issues causing a projected $1 billion shortfall in the current fiscal year for the state.
The casinos have furloughed roughly 10,000 workers since closing in March. Foxwoods officials announced last Friday that they were temporarily laying off the majority of its workforce without benefits, effective May 31. They said they have been maintaining health benefits for all employees, but they could no longer sustain that as the lockdown stretched.
Both casinos closure has also had economic ripples with local vendors forced to close or cut staffing. The tribes have continued to maintain health insurance for workers. “I wish that we had the opportunity for our employees to work from home and work remotely ... but that’s just not the reality in this industry," Butler said last week.