Foxwoods Resort Casino Expansion Headlined by Great Wolf Lodge Waterpark

Posted on: February 16, 2022, 07:32h. 

Last updated on: February 16, 2022, 12:06h.

Foxwoods Resort Casino has unveiled a major expansion of its Connecticut property that will bring a Great Wolf Lodge indoor waterpark to the complex.

Foxwoods casino Connecticut Great Wolf Lodge
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was on hand for the 30th-anniversary celebration of Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket. The tribal resort complex has grand expansion plans for the coming years. (Image: Foxwoods Resort Casino)

Foxwoods already claims to be the largest casino resort in North America. The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation said it’s about to get much bigger.

In conjunction with its 30th anniversary, Foxwoods revealed a partnership this week with Great Wolf Lodge. Founded in 1997, Great Wolf Lodge today has 19 indoor waterpark locations that provide immersive resort experiences for families.

While Great Wolf Lodge’s water amusements are the main attraction, the large resorts feature accommodations, restaurants and bars, and other kid-friendly activities. The current closest Great Wolf Lodges are in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains and in Fitchburg, Ma.

Great Wolf Lodge at Mashantucket is expected to open in 2024. Where, however, remains a mystery, as Foxwoods did not detail the site of the waterpark. But the tribe owns plenty of vacant acreage in Foxwoods’ surrounding areas.

In part of its 30th celebration, Foxwoods will be donating $30,000 a month throughout 2022 to local charities. Foxwoods additionally announced this week a major overhaul of the resort’s main entrance.

Betting on Bingo

To commemorate its past and look forward to its future, the Mashantucket Indians are getting back to where it all started.

Foxwoods opened in 1986 as a Native American bingo hall. After reaching a Class III gaming compact with Connecticut, traditional Las Vegas-style slot machines and table games arrived at the casino in 1992.

To celebrate its 30th, Foxwoods said it’s opening a high-stakes bingo hall this spring. Located in what was formerly the Festival Casino space, the bingo venue will span 30,000 square feet and accommodate more than 2,200 players.

Being a Class II game, the Mashantucket Pequots do not share any of its bingo revenue with the state. Only its slot machines are subject to a 25 percent tax under the tribal compact. Income from table games also fully stays with the tribe.

Foxwoods in 2021 reported slot machine gross gaming revenue of approximately $358 million. The tribe does not disclose revenue for its games not taxed under its Connecticut compact.

Foxwoods paid the state $89.6 million in slot taxes last year. To date, the Connecticut casino has benefited the state government to the tune of more than $4 billion in slot money.

Resort Changes

Foxwoods has evolved with the US gaming landscape by implementing sports betting at its facility, and iGaming online. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) signed off last May on updated Class III gaming compacts with the Mashantucket and Mohegan tribes. The compacts propose to conduct internet slot machines and table games, as well as mobile sports gambling.

The casino’s DraftKings-operated online gaming site commenced last October, and the brick-and-mortar DraftKings Sportsbook at Foxwoods opened in November.

DraftKings’ rival FanDuel is partnered with Mohegan Sun for its internet casino platform and retail and online sports betting.