Conn. (WTNH) — Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville and Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket will close operations 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 to address the public emergency of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement Monday night, Governor Ned Lamont’s office said the closings will last a period of two weeks.
The closing is historic: Foxwoods was opened in 1992 and has never been closed, Mohegan was opened in 1996 and has never been closed to guests.
With the goal of addressing a public health emergency and making sure the State of Connecticut has a coordinated response to COVID-19, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations will temporarily close casino and resort properties on sovereign reservation lands in eastern Connecticut amid concerns about the coronavirus, per an agreement announced tonight by Governor Ned Lamont.– Office of Governor Ned Lamont
Mashantucket Pequot Chairman Rodney Butler said the decision to close Foxwoods to the public was not easy but it is the right thing to do.
Foxwoods has 6,500 employees, most of whom can’t go in to work do to the closure.
“This is a humbling reflection on the ongoing public health crisis and it is the right decision,” Butler said. “Our concern is for health and safety of the community and of the public. The coronavirus is a threat to each and every one of us, and we believe shutting our doors will keep our visitors, employees and the public more safe.”
“Connecticut and our respective tribes have worked collaboratively for decades and this moment in our history is no different,” James Gessner, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, said. “This is a decision that was made to ensure all of our guests, team members, and our partners across Connecticut, especially in our local communities, remain safe. We are successful if the state is successful, and that’s true in all facets, like public health.”
The governors of both New York and New Jersey have closed their various casinos amid COVID-19 spread concerns. Connecticut’s Governor Ned Lamont has declared all gatherings of over 50 people prohibited to limit the spread of the highly-contagious virus and asked the state’s casinos to shut down during this time.
Mohegan Sun said in a statement Monday afternoon they are temporarily shutting down most of their facilities to focus on the cleaning and deferred maintenance of all of their facilities.
These new measures announced today, and additional updates related to the temporary public closure to come will also be provided via mohegansun.com/updates.
Foxwoods said early Monday afternoon that they are a sovereign nation and will make their own decision.
In a statement Monday, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council said they have been in ongoing contact with the governor’s office and are aware of the developing situation.
They say, from the start of the crisis, the Tribe “has taken action to protect the health and wellness of our Team Members, patrons, and Tribal Members.”
Monday night both Tribes announced they will be closed for two weeks beginning Tuesday at 8 p.m.