Casinos Voluntarily Opt in for Phase 2.1

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Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are taking steps to fall in line with Connecticut's rollback to Phase 2.1, though their approaches are slightly different.

Mohegan Sun said all their restaurants and bars will fall in line with the state guidelines, which reduce restaurants to 50% capacity indoors and require in-restaurant dining curfews.

In a statement, Jeff Hamilton, president and general manager of Mohegan Sun, said that they will operate at the 50% capacity regulation, and offer last call for dine-in services at 9:30 p.m. They are also encouraging diners to make reservations.

Takeout service will be available throughout the night.

At Foxwoods, all restaurants operated by outside tenants will follow the state dining hours. The two restaurants that Foxwoods operates and owns, Cedar Steaks and Oysters and Golden, will stay open for their regular hours, closing at 11:30 p.m. They will continue to practice social distancing guidelines and operate at 50% capacity.

“We want to continue to be partners with the state of Connecticut. We have a great relationship. We want to continue to support their initiatives and at the same time balance that out with our protocols and our mitigating efforts," Jason Guyot, interm president and CEO of Foxwoods said.

“I think it is very tough to provide a clear answer on the 9:30/10:00 decision as the virus doesn’t really follow the time. I think you just have to go back to the science," he added.

All restaurants inside the casino have never operated at more than 50% capacity since reopening in June, Guyot said. The casino is operating at about 25% capacity.

Governor Ned Lamont has said that Connecticut made the decision to require its restaurants to close in the 9:30/10 p.m. timeframe in consultation with surrounding states.

“When you are sitting down and eating, we think we can continue do that safely, we will have to see what community spread is. But as the evening goes on sometimes it gets a little riskier behavior. We thought 9:30, 10:00 was a good time," he said.

The casinos are on tribal lands and not required to follow the state orders. However, in March, both casinos made historic closures to curb the spread of the coronavirus before reopening in June. The pandemic has led to significant furloughs and layoffs in the industry.

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