Foxwoods Resort Casino announced Friday that it will temporarily lay off the majority of its workforce without benefits due to the coronavirus crisis.
The Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan Tribal Nations agreed to shut down their casinos in March to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Foxwoods opened in 1992 and had never closed before the pandemic.
In Friday's announcement, Foxwoods officials said they have been maintaining health benefits for all employees, but they could no longer sustain that as the lockdown stretched.
The layoffs go into effect on May 31. Foxwoods said it is forgiving all outstanding health care premiums for those affected.
"This is a heartbreaking decision but feel it is the best path to preserving jobs for the future. We appreciate all our team members have done in playing such a critical part in making Foxwoods an amazing place to work," the company wrote in a statement.
The company is working on a phased reopening, and hopes to bring some workers back when that happens. The first phase, which has no opening date as of yet, will include the reopening of the Grand Pequot and Great Cedar casino floors, the Grant Pequot Hotel, and some food and beverage options.