Foxwoods Resort Casino is a hotel and casino complex owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation on their Mashantucket Pequot Indian Reservation, within 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. There are several restaurants within the casinos, among them a Hard Rock Cafe.
Foxwoods has two hotel towers, with a total of 2,266 hotel rooms; and a two-story game arcade for children and teens. In 2015 a retail complex, known as Tanger Outlet Mall, opened with 85 stores for luxury goods. It is located between the two hotel towers.
Foxwoods was founded in 1986 by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe as a high-stakes bingo hall on their reservation. (They had gained legal control of their reservation and federal recognition by an act of Congress in 1983, which overrode a veto by President Ronald Reagan.)
The casino was financed by Lim Goh Tong, a Chinese Malaysian who founded the only legal casino in Malaysia. Lim died in October 2007.
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. 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. 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.
For years after opening in 1992, Foxwoods had a monopoly on casino gambling in the region.It made billions of dollars in profits. Shortly before the market recession of 2008, Foxwoods borrowed heavily to finance a massive expansion to include new hotel and conference facilities.Starting in 2009, Foxwoods defaulted on debts totaling over two billion dollars. As a result, in 2014 Standard & Poor’s lowered Foxwoods’ credit rating. The Mashantucket Pequot, owners of Foxwoods, have applied for and received millions of dollars in federal grants.
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, rebranding it as “The Fox”.
Games available at Foxwoods include:
Traditional “big table” Baccarat (Punto Banco style) and “Mini-Baccarat”, where a dealer handles the cards. In both variants the casino banks the game.
Bingo with a bingo hall able to accommodate up to 5000 players.
Blackjack with 6- or 8-deck shoes. A variant called Spanish 21 is also played. The casino offers a rare “Dollar blackjack” table (minimum bet is $1).
A Money wheel in the Fox Tower
Pai gow is offered in the Asian gaming section of the Rainmaker Casino.
Sic Bo, an Asian game with three dice in a shaker, is also played in the Asian gaming section.
Table variants of poker (played against the house) include Caribbean Stud Poker, Casino war, Crazy 4 poker, High Five poker, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Texas Hold ‘Em bonus and Three card poker.
Roulette: Almost all of the wheels are of the American variety (with two green spots, 0 and 00), though there are a few European style wheels with only one zero.
A race book facility with cafe is also located at Foxwoods. Bets may be made on Jai-Alai or on more than a combined total of more than 60 tracks of dog racing and horse racing. Races are projected on 50-foot (15 m) high digital screens.
Poker (Formerly WPT World Poker Room)
The Poker Room (formerly known as the WPT-World Poker Tour World Poker Room) is located one floor below the Rainmaker Casino. This room runs poker games of varying stakes, 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.
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.