Select Guests May Visit Connecticut Tribal Casinos This Weekend, Public Reopening on Monday

Posted on: May 30, 2020, 01:35h. 

Last updated on: May 30, 2020, 06:29h.

Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino will have an invite-only reopening this weekend. That’s before both Connecticut tribal gaming properties formally resume limited operations on Monday, according to a local TV station.

Len Fasano Senate CT
Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano says Gov. Ned Lamont appears to be softening his stance on the reopening of tribal casinos. (Image: Connecticut Post)

Television station WVIT reported the two venues will be open Saturday, May 30, and Sunday before Monday’s firm reopening. Pre-identified visitors will be allowed to enter the casinos over weekend.

Earlier this week, Mohegan Sun provided “an invitation to a very limited number of guests of Connecticut and Rhode Island only, and are planning for a response rate that is entirely manageable,” Jeff Hamilton, the casino’s president and general manager, was quoted by WFSB TV, another local station.

Likewise, Rhode Island’s two casinos, Twin Rivers Casino Hotel and Tiverton Casino Hotel, will resume gaming operations beginning June 8, but are restricting admission by invitation-only to select reward program members.

Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino have put into effect new health and safety guidelines to help curb the spread of coronavirus. They include social distancing, health precautions, and expanded sanitizing.

Temperature Screening Meets Visitors

Guests also will have to undergo non-invasive temperature checks, wear masks, and follow social distancing requirements. At Mohegan Sun, “Any person with a temperature reading higher than 99.9 degrees will be re-tested to confirm,” the venue said in a statement.

“If the reading is still high, guests will be asked to return when they feel healthy, and will be reminded to follow-up with their health care provider,” the statement added.

At Foxwoods, “Everyone is going to pass through thermal temperature scans. If your temperature’s above 100.4 degrees, you’ll be re-tested,” Jason Guyot, interim CEO at Foxwoods, told The Day newspaper in Connecticut.

“If it’s still too high, you’ll be given some COVID-19 information and escorted off the property,” Guyot added.

Our team has tirelessly been working around the clock to develop and implement first-in-class standards and safety measures consistent with or exceeding guidelines by state and federal officials,” Mohegan Sun recounted in another statement.

“To ensure we are cautious and appropriate with our approach, not all portions of the resort will be operational during the first phase. While we understand that the continued closure of some of these experiences may be inconvenient, we look forward to reopening them when the time is right.”

Gov. Lamont Appears More Flexible, Remains Concerned

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, wanted the casinos to delay the reopening until later in June because of health risks. But tribal properties are on sovereign land and do not have to follow state rules.

As of earlier this week, Lamont was considering suspending each venue’s liquor license. No such move was approved as of Saturday.

While the casinos did not extend their opening dates, they did implement other precautions. “Neither property will open its concert venues, buffets, or poker rooms,” the casinos said in a joint statement released earlier this month.

Dining options also are limited. Onsite hotels will only allow Connecticut and Rhode Island residents to check-in to the limited number of available rooms, WVIT said.

The Mohegan Sun is operated by the Mohegan Tribe. Foxwoods is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.

Connecticut Senate Minority Leader Len Fasano, R-North Haven, visited one of the tribal casinos earlier this week.

“After seeing what the tribes are doing, Governor Lamont appears to have softened his stance on casinos reopening, now saluting the tribes for closing down early on and talking about their exchange of ideas on safety precautions,” Fasano told The Day.