We’ve heard it over and over again – “The CT Tribal Casinos are Doomed! The sky is falling, the sky is falling, yadda, yadda, yadda….”
I don’t agree. While the state revenue is less and less, the state of CT is worried to the max – but are the two tribal casinos? I think not.
The state of Connecticut has been easily been adding tribal gaming money to their coffers for years. In typical “Atlantic City-esque” style, they considered it never-ending, while competition grew around them. Of course they are concerned that the money train will end with competition from Massachusetts and New York State. Believe me, it’s the money, not the jobs they are concerned about. The same dependency that Rhode Island has had in the last decade.
But I disagree that the two tribes are as worried as their legislative counter-parts. And each preparing for the future in their own way.
Foxwoods continues to make strides with their New Bedford, Mass casino proposal – and a good one it will be. It might be classy and lavish enough in a great area as the waterfront to give Wynn a run for it’s money.
Mohegan continues to diversify away from depending on gaming. Mohegan Sun was recently named one of “America’s Best Employers, 2015” by Forbes. The company was also named 12th nationwide under the Travel & Leisure category – joining iconic brands such as Walt Disney Parks & Resorts and Marriott International – and was the second highest performing gaming company within the category.
Foxwoods is about to open its Tanger Outlet Stores on May 21st, featuring over 300,000 square feet of upscale branded and designer outlet retailers. The concept, design and merchandising of Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods will be similar to those within the successful, established Tanger portfolio of outlet centers in the United States and Canada. Tanger Outlets at Foxwoods will include over 80 leading brand-name outlet stores.
Mohegan Sun continues to diversify their business portfolio with non-tribal casinos, restaurant franchises and more, including
- A franchise agreement with Denver-based Smashburger to develop up to sixteen Smashburger locations across New England, including Rhode Island, Connecticut; and Massachusetts
- 15 franchise locations with Aroogaʼs Grille House and Sports Bar restaurants.
- A wood-pellet production company in Ohio.
- A business machine company, Kota-LDI, is the Mohegan’s fourth new venture.
And if that isn’t enough, Mohegan Sun’s gaming interests include managing Resorts in AC, managing the Cowlitz tribe casino in Washington state, and of late, announcing entering into an agreement with an airport to develop a hotel-casino resort in Incheon, South Korea.
So, is it CT legislators who are the most worried about their own economic welfare, or are the two casino-bearing CT tribes more worried about their future?
I say the Pequots & the Mohegans will end up just fine – the state of CT? – not so much.
That’s all for now