Foxwoods Resort Casino
FoxwoodsCasinoLogo.png
Location Mashantucket Pequot Tribe Reservation
Address 350 Trolley Line Boulevard Ledyard, CT 06338
Opening dateJuly 5, 1986 (bingo)
February 15, 1992 (casino)
1997 (hotel)
ThemeNative American
No. of rooms2,228
Total gaming space344,000 sq ft (32,000 m2)
Casino typeLand-Based
OwnerMashantucket Pequot Tribe Nation
Previous namesMashantucket Pequot Bingo Hall (1986–1992)
Renovated in1992, 1994–1997, 2002–2003, 2005–2008
CoordinatesCoordinates: 41°28′26″N 71°57′29″W / 41.47389°N 71.95806°W / 41.47389; -71.95806
WebsiteProperty Website

Foxwoods Resort Casino is a hotel and casino complex owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation on their reservation located in Ledyard, Connecticut. Including six casinos, the resort covers an area of 9,000,000 sq ft (840,000 m2). The casinos have more than 250 gaming tables for blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker, and have more than 5,500 slot machines.[1][2] The casinos also have several restaurants, among them a Hard Rock Cafe. It has been developed since changes in state and federal laws in the late 20th century enabled Native American gaming on the sovereign reservations of federally recognized tribes.

Foxwoods has two hotel towers, with a total of 2,228 hotel rooms; and an arcade for children and teens. The original tower, the Grand Pequot Tower, opened in 1997, while the second opened in 2008 as the MGM Grand. It was re-branded the Fox Tower in 2013.[3] In 2015, a retail complex, known as Tanger Outlet Mall, opened between the two hotel towers with 85 stores featuring luxury goods.[4]

History

Main article: Connecticut Indian Land Claims Settlement

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribe gained federal recognition and legal control of their reservation by an act of Congress in 1983, which overrode a veto by President Ronald Reagan.[5] The tribe moved forward with development. They founded Foxwoods in 1986 as a high-stakes bingo hall on their reservation.

The tribe partnered with Lim Goh Tong, a Chinese Malaysian who founded the only legal casino in Malaysia, for financing to expand Foxwoods into a full gaming casino.[6][7]

In 1992, the tribe added table games, followed by additional slot machines in 1993. G. Michael Brown became the chairman of the casino in 1993. In an agreement negotiated with the state of Connecticut, to gain their approval of the casino, the tribe agreed to pay 25 percent of the slot revenue to the state, a sum that amounted to almost $200 million per year as of 2007.[8] In the fiscal year ending June 2008, Foxwoods' 6,300 slots handled more than $9.1 billion. In January 2012, the "hold" was $45 million.[9] A poker room and a high-limit 30-table game area were added in 1995.

Because Foxwoods is located on sovereign Mashantucket Pequot land, it is not required to comply with state laws related to smoking. Constructed in 1996, the casino is not a smoke-free facility. Due to complaints in the early 21st century from patrons and employees, it has designated many common areas, such as hallways, walkways, hotel lobbies, retail stores, and most restaurants, as non-smoking areas. In addition, it has designated certain areas for smokers. The poker room is non-smoking, and separate table gaming and slot areas are designated as non-smoking.

In 1997, the associated deluxe Grand Pequot Tower was opened for business.

Foxwoods was once reported to be the world's largest casino,[10] though it was later surpassed by the Venetian Macau.[11]

Debt default

For years after opening in 1992, Foxwoods had a monopoly on casino gambling in the region.[12] It made billions of dollars in profits.[citation needed] Shortly before the market recession of 2008, Foxwoods borrowed heavily to finance a massive expansion to include new hotel and conference facilities.[13] Starting in 2009, Foxwoods defaulted on debts totaling over two billion dollars.[14] As a result, in 2014 Standard & Poor's lowered Foxwoods' credit rating.[15] The Mashantucket Pequot, owners of Foxwoods, have applied for and received millions of dollars in federal grants.[16]

Design

Over time, the casino management achieved full build-out of the resort by hiring several design and construction entities. The majority of the work from 1992 to 2001 was completed by Construction Managers CR Klewin aka Klewin Building Co. and the Architect of Record was JCJ Architecture (formerly Jeter, Cook & Jepson) of Hartford, Connecticut. Planning and concept designs were by New England Design Inc. and Nick606 Inc. Later phases were completed by Shawmut Design & Construction, Perini Building Co., AZ Corporation, and others, with design work by Steelman Partners, HKS, Inc., and others. The resort managers revamped the whole resort and casino, re-branding it as "The Fox".[17] Additionally, the resort's appearance inspires frequent comparisons or references to it as "Emerald City", from the film Wizard of Oz.[18][19][20]

Gaming

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Games available at Foxwoods include:

Poker (formerly WPT World Poker Room)

The Poker Room (formerly known as the WPT-World Poker Tour World Poker Room until 2012)[A] is located one floor below the Rainmaker Casino. Poker games of varying stakes are conducted here, including limit and no-limit Texas hold 'em, limit and pot-limit Omaha hold 'em (including hi/lo), and seven-card stud (high only and hi/lo).

The poker room was relocated and expanded in March 2006, increasing the number of tables from 76 to 114, making it the largest poker room outside California. It is the third-largest poker room in the world, after the Commerce Casino and the Bicycle Casino.[25][26]

Sporting events / entertainment

Since 2014, three major mixed martial arts events have been held at Foxwoods: UFC Fight Night: Jacaré vs. Mousasi, World Series of Fighting 20: Branch vs. McElligott and, most recently World Series of Fighting 24: Fitch vs. Okami.

Fox Tower

Foxwoods Resort, 2009
Foxwoods Resort, 2009

Construction started in November 2005 on a $700 million expansion at Foxwoods. On April 25, 2006, Foxwoods announced that they would lease the MGM Grand brand name for the new building, and that MGM Mirage would be a partner in the expansion project. The expansion, entitled MGM Grand at Foxwoods, opened on May 17, 2008. It is a separate building from the main Foxwoods resort. A moving walkway and Tanger Outlets Foxwoods (built in 2015), now connect the two complexes. Amenities at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods included:[27]

In late 2013, MGM Mirage split from Foxwoods. The tribe renamed the building as The Fox Tower, part of a re-branding effort as they face new competition from other casinos in the region.[4]

In 2015, Tanger Outlets Foxwoods opened within the complex, located between the two hotel towers. Constructed for $120 million, the 85-store mall features luxury brands.[4]

Attractions

Ride name Manufacturer Model
Amusement rides
HighFlyer Zipline Soaring Eagle Rides[28] Soaring Eagle Zipline Ride
Monza World-Class Karting On Track Karting/PGK Designs Go-Karts
XD Dark Ride[29] Dark ride

Restaurants

Unionization of employees

Beginning with an employee-led website to gain support and share ideas of how to react to changes employees had been going through, a small base of employees approached several union organizations to explore unionizing of dealers at Foxwoods Resort Casino. After the dealer group decided on the United Auto Workers in June 2007, the UAW helped start collecting signatures from dealers in support of a union. The UAW announced in September 2007 that it had collected the requisite number of signatures needed to hold an election to determine whether table games and poker dealers desired union representation or not.

The Tribe challenged the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board for their on-reservation Native American enterprises. Following hearings and review of the petitions, the NLRB ruled in favor of the union and ordered a union election to be conducted. On November 24, 2007, employees voted to unionize: 60 percent were in favor and 40 percent were against.[30] The Foxwoods dealers cast 1,289 ballots for the union, 852 against representation, with challenges to 36 additional ballots. Approximately 2,700 dealers and dual-rate dealers were eligible to vote in the election.

After the workers won the right to unionize, Foxwoods Casino appealed the election results, reasserting its jurisdictional challenge. In addition, it said that the NLRB had made mistakes in conducting the vote. It had printed the ballot only in English and provided notices explaining the election in only one form of the Chinese language, thereby disenfranchising workers who spoke other languages. Furthermore, it said that interactions between union officials and some voters were unlawful.[31] An NLRB Administrative Law Judge ruled that the union and the board provided ample explanation of the election in a variety of languages. Foxwoods appealed the decision.

The Foxwoods dealers' union asked the state of Connecticut to improve the conditions of their workplace. Workers and union organizers pushed for legislation to ban smoking on the casino floors of Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. The Mashantucket tribe opposed a complete ban on smoking; however, in May 2009 Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell signed an agreement with Foxwoods by which they would limit smoking areas in the casino.[32]

On January 26, 2010, dealers at Foxwoods reached a labor contract with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe. They are the largest group of union-represented dealers at any U.S. casino.[33] On August 7, 2013, the union announced a tentative new contract that would give dealers retroactive and future raises, set stricter limits on second-hand smoke, and give dealers the right to decide how tips are distributed.[34]

In April 2018, an additional 300 cleaning and maintenance workers voted to join the UAW.[35]

See also

Notelist

  1. ^ As of 2012 Foxwoods no longer has any affiliation with the World Poker Tour.[24]

References

  1. ^ "Foxwoods Resort Casino Gaming". Foxwoods Resort Casino. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  2. ^ "Foxwoods Resort Casino Table Games". Foxwoods Resort Casino. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  3. ^ "MGM Grand name to come off Foxwoods casino complex in Connecticut". October 28, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c MATTHEW STURDEVANT, "MGM Grand At Foxwoods Renamed The Fox Tower", Hartford Courant, April 3, 2014
  5. ^ See Mashantucket Pequot Tribe v. McGuigan, 626 F. Supp. 245 (D. Conn. 1986).
  6. ^ "Seneca Niagara Casino Is Cash Cow". The Buffalo News. May 21, 2004. Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  7. ^ "Native American tribe to honor Goh Tong for his help". The Star. October 29, 2007. Archived from the original on October 29, 2007. Retrieved October 29, 2007.
  8. ^ "Foxwoods Casino Schedule of Selected Video Facsimile/Slot Machine Data For The Period January 1, 1993 Through June 30, 2011" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Retrieved July 12, 2017. — More recent data is available at "Foxwoods Casino Schedule of Selected Video Facsimile/Slot Machine Data For The Period January 1, 1993 Through May 31, 2017" (PDF). Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  9. ^ Michael Sokolove (March 14, 2012). "Foxwoods Is Fighting for Its Life". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Léa Teuscher; Simon Usborne; Louise Jack (2006). Askwith, Richard (ed.). Indypedia: Part 1 (A-K). The Independent. p. 96.
  11. ^ Kevin Lynch (March 19, 2013). "Michael Owen retires, mega casino opens, and Iraq war anniversary – The news in world records". Guinness World Records. Retrieved August 7, 2021.
  12. ^ [1] "Foxwoods - biggest US casino cuts back gambling"], Las Vegas Sun, November 25, 2014; accessed April 14, 2017
  13. ^ "2.3 Billion debt - Foxwoods too big to fail", CT (Connecticut) Mirror, March 15, 2012
  14. ^ "As Foxwoods fights for its life, tribal gaming restructurings provide hope". forbes.com.
  15. ^ "Foxwoods owners straining again under heavy debt", Press Herald, August 23, 2014
  16. ^ "Tribe that owns Foxwoods Resort Casino turns to federal grants for financial aid". Retrieved June 14, 2018.
  17. ^ Burnett, Andrew. "A New Type of Casino". Pokertube. Archived from the original on March 8, 2016. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  18. ^ Thurmond, Rick (June 2, 2001). "The lure of Foxwoods". Sun Chronicle.
  19. ^ "Southeast Connecticut & its Casinos". New England Travel Planner. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  20. ^ Messick, Abby (June 12, 2017). "Top 10 facts and figures about Foxwoods Resort Casino".
  21. ^ "Foxwoods Resort Casino Installs Third Interblock Stadium".
  22. ^ "Slots at Foxwoods | Mashantucket, CT".
  23. ^ 10Reviews. "Foxwoods Online Casino | Discover Now".
  24. ^ "Foxwoods' poker room is going it alone". theday.com. Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  25. ^ "The Top Five Poker Rooms in the United States - Best Live Poker Cardrooms in America". Cardschat.com. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  26. ^ "Poker Room Review: Foxwoods Casino, Ledyard, Connecticut". PokerNews. July 8, 2007. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  27. ^ "The MGM Grand at Foxwoods opens". Newsday.com. May 14, 2008. Archived from the original on December 10, 2008. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  28. ^ "Amusement Ride | Altitude Attractions LLC | United States".
  29. ^ "XD Dark Ride at Foxwoods | Mashantucket, CT".
  30. ^ UAW Wins New Victories at Two Casinos (December 4, 2007)
  31. ^ "The Indypendent "Labor Unions Eye Gains in 2008" by Bennett Baumer". Indypendent.org. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
  32. ^ "Rell signs 2nd casino smoking deal". WTNH. May 7, 2009. Retrieved August 25, 2009.
  33. ^ "Foxwoods, UAW Agree On Contract For Table-Game Dealers".
  34. ^ "Foxwoods, union reach tentative contract agreement".
  35. ^ "Foxwoods cleaning, maintenance workers vote to join union". April 20, 2018. Retrieved June 14, 2018.