After CEO Scott Butera of Foxwoods announced layoffs last year, restructured debt and announced the addition of the Tanger Outlet Mall connecting MGM & Foxwoods, things seemed to be getting better for Pequots casino business. When Foxwoods Resort Casino posted its first year-over-year slots revenue increase in nearly two years last November (as well as The Mohegan Sun), it seemed like the economic shackles were starting to come off.
Yesterday, one step backward – one of the largest casino complexes in the world is eliminating the jobs of 120 table game dealers, the workers’ union said. Attributing the cause of poor business caused by the overall suppressed gaming market in the northeast, the casino says it will be downsizing with the intent of not imposing involuntary layoffs by offering severance packages to volunteers. Foxwoods currently employs 1800 dealers at both Foxwoods and Foxwoods-MGM. According to management’s notice, the positions to be eliminated include 105 dealers at Foxwoods, 15 dealers at MGM Grand at Foxwoods and five assistant floor supervisors at Foxwoods. The early success of the 66 table games initially installed at Twin River prompted the facility to add 14 more tables in December.
Twin’s River Casino’s success has been bigger than Rhode Island’s casino market imagined, let alone the Mashentucket Pequots or Mohegans. – It seems the CT casinos miscalculated the importance of their table game control in the market. Massachusetts should take notice as well. Hey MGM, Wynn….are you listening?
Is Twin River’s addition of table games really making that much of a difference? I would say it has. After visiting Twin River a month ago, most of the tables were full, even with the lowest minimum bet $10. Both Mohegan Sun & Foxwoods offer $5 minimum, but we’re not talking about players who will travel an extra 40 minutes for a $5 minimum – it’s the bigger players that Twin River seems to be enticing. Closer to home with the high price of gasoline speaks volumes to those who want to minimize the casino’s advantage.
I hope this is just a little stub of the toe for CT gaming – but I think it’s like stubbing your toe before you run into the furniture.
That’s all for now.