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Foxwoods now has a permanent shop to take sports bets

Foxwoods DraftKings Sportsbook
Joe Amon
/
Connecticut Public
From left: DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler and Foxwoods President and CEO Jason Guyot make an entrance at the Foxwoods grand opening ceremony for the DraftKings Sportsbook’s new two-story space in the Great Cedar Casino on Dec. 8, 2021. It replaces the temporary location that premiered in September.

In-person sports betting has been taking place at the Foxwoods Resort Casino for two months, but now there’s a new space dedicated to it.

Foxwoods opened its DraftKings Sportsbook on Wednesday, with the first bet placed by Kendrick Perkins, a member of the 2008 NBA champion Boston Celtics. Officials with Foxwoods and the tribal nation that runs the casino extended the invite to Perkins, who now works for ESPN.

“It’s not because I’m a being a homer, but I’m going to place my bet on the Boston Celtics tonight for the money line against the Clippers because the Clippers can’t stop a nosebleed,” Perkins said.

Foxwoods DraftKings Sportsbook
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public
/
Connecticut Public
Lee Elci of East Lyme lays a bet on the Thursday Night Football game, the Minnesota Vikings over the Pittsburgh Steelers, at the Foxwoods grand opening ceremony of the DraftKings Sportsbook in the Great Cedar Casino on Dec. 8, 2021.

The new DraftKings Sportsbook is two stories, with 225 seats for people to sit, eat and watch sports. The 12,000-square-foot space includes many big-screen televisions, several VIP lounge areas and at least 16 stations for placing bets.

“We wanted it center property,” said Jason Guyot, Foxwoods president and CEO. “We wanted it to be the highlight of the resort as we go through this next phase of the evolution of Foxwoods now with sports betting and iGaming here, live in Connecticut.”

Foxwoods has taken bets since Sept. 30. Before the permanent location opened, betting windows and kiosks at a space usually reserved for people to bet on track racing served as the casino’s temporary retail sports betting operation.

Butler on revenue projections: ‘We’ll exceed that.’

Rodney Butler, chairman of the tribal nation that runs Foxwoods, thinks the tribe will be giving the state more money in sports betting and online casino gaming revenue than expected.

The state recently said the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation took in $24 million in online sports bets in October. Butler addressed revenue figures at the opening of the DraftKings Sportsbook, saying that November’s numbers “should be in line with that.” Then he offered a prediction about the rest of the fiscal year.

Foxwoods DraftKings Sportsbook
Joe Amon / Connecticut Public
/
Connecticut Public
The betting kiosks in areas around the Great Cedar Casino after the Foxwoods grand opening ceremony of the DraftKings Sportsbook on Dec. 8, 2021.

“There’s continued growth going into November that we’re pleased with, and I think the state will be pleased as well,” Butler said. “The forecast that we had for this year for the tax payment to the state, we’re going to exceed that in year one.”

The Mashantucket Pequots pay a 13.75% tax on sports betting revenue and 18% on online casino gaming revenue. That money goes to the state. Butler thought that would mean $20 million for the state in year one. But now he believes the payout will be higher.

The state wouldn’t confirm.

“The Administration will not speculate on future gaming revenues other than the projections which have been published by [the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management] and have been reported,” said Max Reiss, Gov. Ned Lamont’s communications director, in an email to Connecticut Public Radio.

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