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Casino Workers Losing Connecticut Jobs

Posted on October 9, 2008

Two of the state’s largest casinos are causing the loss of Connecticut jobs.

Connecticut’s Foxwoods Casino plans to lay off 700 workers this month, while a $700 million expansion at Mohegan Sun has halted, putting a hold on 2,000 more jobs. According to an article by ABC News, this is the first time in 15 years Connecticut’s casino industry has seen a slowdown.

Mohegan Sun says its slowdown is affecting everyone from gamblers to retirees.

“Everybody who comes to Mohegan Sun basically drives here,” Mitchell Etess, CEO of Mohegan Sun, said in the article. “Gas costs a lot more today than it did a year a go. People have less disposable income. You have to eat, you have to buy milk and things like that, but do you have to go to the casino?”

The slowdown at Connecticut‘s two largest casinos also is hurting state coffer. Connecticut saw its share of casino revenues drop about $20 million in 2007, and could see those numbers decrease even further this year. These funds support such things as state roads and public safety.

While casinos and the gaming business are becoming risky, the state is expected to gain $400 million in gaming revenue this year, and many municipalities believe opening a casino is an easy way to fix the slowing state budget and economy.

“When a car company goes into a city, they’ll say ‘OK, we’ll give you a $25 million tax incentive,'” Etess said in the article. “When a casino comes to town, they say, ‘Great idea. We’ll take 50 percent of your revenues. There’s no doubt that when we slow down, they slow down, but I think in the long run we’re a very sound industry.”