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August 19, 2019Cart

Business

by Fairfield County Business Journal
by FCBJ

California gaming exec to take helm of Foxwoods Resort Casino

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council has tapped John J. James as the new president and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino. He succeeds Felix D. Rappaport, who passed away in June 2018.

James

James is chief operating officer for Morongo Casino Resort & Spa in Cabazon, California, and will take the leadership role at Foxwoods on Aug. 12. Earlier in his career, James was CEO at
Gila River Gaming Enterprises Inc., where he led three tribal casinos in Arizona, and was also CEO at Seminole Gaming Inc. and Pechanga Resort and Casino.

James will be arriving at Foxwoods at a time when the casino has been struggling with falling revenue and expansion issues. Earlier this week, Foxwoods reported slot revenue of $35.3 million for June, down from the $40 million recorded in June 2018.

The Mashantucket Pequot and the Mohegan tribes have faced two years of U.S. Department of Interior delays before gaining approval in March to proceed with their Tribal Winds casino in East Windsor. Last month, the tribes engaged in a brief but unsuccessful effort with Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim to gain legislative approval on a $350 million casino project that would have muscled out MGM Resorts International’s efforts to build a casino resort at Bridgeport’s Steelpointe Harbor. The tribes have rejected recommendations from Gov. Ned Lamont to work with MGM Resorts in expanding Connecticut’s gaming industry to accommodate nontribal casino operators.