Mohegan Sun lays off 300 - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Mohegan Sun lays off 300

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UNCASVILLE, CT (WFSB) -

Officials at Mohegan Sun told Eyewitness News that more than 300 workers will lose their jobs because the casino is seeing a downturn in revenue and increased competition.

According to officials, 282 employees from various departments have been notified that they are being laid off. During the next month, 46 workers will be laid off after the tribe's Birches restaurant closes.

"Clearly, letting employees go in this fashion is the last thing the tribal council or management team here wants to do," said Tribal Authority CEO Mitch Etess.

Last month, the Mohegan Sun's slot revenue took in $56.3 million on a total handle waged of $687.2 million compared with Resorts World, whose slots brought in $58.6 million while handling $1.1 billion from gamers.

Mohegan Sun is being impacted by neighboring casinos such as the Twin Rivers in Rhode Island and the Aqueduct Racetrack in Yonkers, NY.

In 2010, 475 employees were laid off. At the time, casino officials sited decreased revenues from gamers and increased competition.

The layoffs and decreased casino business is impacting businesses in the area.

"People aren't coming through the door; its not like it used to be," said Surplus Unlimited store owner Joe Metera. "Three hundred less is not going to help."

The local chamber of commerce is hoping that promoting more tourism will lead to more visitors to the casinos.

"We have to focus on tourism," said chamber President Ben Lathrop. "With Mohegan Sun losing employment, it is an opportunity here to bring people back into our region."

Mohegan Sun CEO Jeff Hartmann also left the casino and will be replaced by tribal member and Mohegan Pocono Boss Bobby Soper.

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