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Travel: Betting on a good time at Connecticut's tribal casinos

Filed Under: Connecticut
More on: connecticut, mashantucket, mohegan

The Mohegan Sun Casino, owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut. Photo from Facebook

Writer visits casinos owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe in Connecticut and tries to see who comes out on top:
I’ll confess that I am partial to Mohegan Sun. For the past 10 years I’ve had incredibly memorable experiences there, such as the time Charo jumped me and tried to take my shirt off during her Christmas show. Her talon-like fingers furiously opened buttons over my objections as she sang “Mamacita, Donde Esta Santa Claus?” True story. Feliz navidad!

My initial impression of Foxwoods: It looked like a mall built in the late 1980s that underwent multiple expansions. These new sections don’t aesthetically match. Some are beautiful, others a bit sad. It’s like a quilt stitched by a well-meaning but color-blind aunt. Also, the endless maze of corridors connecting all the casinos, entertainment venues, and restaurants are so unwieldy that I suspect even Google Maps would have a difficult time navigating it all.

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut owns the The Foxwoods Resort Casino. Photo from Twitter
For someone looking simply to gamble, Foxwoods is the winner. It has 340,000 feet of gaming space, Mohegan only 300,000. The effect of both casinos is the same: Alien spaces filled with busy patterned carpets, mesmerizing lights, and enticing electronic bleeting. Walking through both provided a fascinating look at human behavior. There were seniors sporting cotton candy-textured coiffures robotically playing slots. Nearby men in their 30s, who looked like they stepped off the set of “Entourage,” filled the gaming tables while young women tugged at their micro skirts while they stumbled through the halls late at night after one libation too many.

Both casinos sit like a pair of unlikely monoliths in the middle of the woods in the southeastern part of the state. Mohegan Sun is owned by the Mohegan tribe, Foxwoods by the Pequot tribe. Foxwoods is the largest casino in North America. Mohegan is its hip little brother. Both have restaurants, stores, arenas, pools, spas, and gyms. Tens of thousands of gamblers and party-lovers make the trek down here every weekend.

Another reason why I preferred Mohegan over Foxwoods is the lack of natural light. Foxwoods had more windows in the gaming areas. Let’s face it, no one is all that pretty after a nicotine and rum-scented day of gambling. We all look better in dim, ambient lighting.

Get the Story:
Christopher Muther: Betting on a good time: Mohegan Sun vs. Foxwoods (The Boston Globe 8/9)

Related Stories:
Editorial: Looking for positives in falling tribal casino revenues (8/6)

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