That is my place lol
I remember the little bingo hall they started with.
They have around 10 people that started working at Foxwoods still in the bingo hall.
They all know me (The T has been a flirt for years at Foxwoods bingo) lol
They are a great group of people to work with.
Hey if you ever want to get a group from you're area I can set the trip up for ya.
No lines to stand in & we go right into the hall.
Boy, How Time Flies to see how Foxwoods grew in the years.
This past March I have been running them Bus Trips now for 22 years.
And all them people that I have entertained on the road to Foxwoods.
Foxwoods celebrates its roots in bingo
In the beginning, there was bingo.
Before the slot machines, the table games, the buffets, the shows, the hotels, the glitz, the glamour and the convenience, there was bingo.
Connecticut resort gambling started in 1986 with a 1,200-seat tent hidden among the trees at the end of a country road, with no signs pointing the way.
That tent would double in size, blossom into the Foxwoods Resort Casino and over the next 25 years become the biggest gambling property in North America.
But it all started with a tent for bingo.
“They just flocked here and filled up the bingo hall right away,” said Michael Holder, Foxwoods vice president for bingo operations. “It was a success right from day one.”
Holder is one of six people remaining at Foxwoods who started with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe in 1986 with that bingo tent and worked continuously throughout the property’s ups and downs.
The Mashantucket Pequots opened the bingo tent three years after the U.S. Congress passed the Connecticut Indian Land Claims Act. By 1992, the tribe opened the Foxwoods Resort Casino, originally much smaller than the property now that includes 6,500 slot machines, 2,200 hotel rooms, 350 table games, two spas and two golf courses.
The Mohegan Tribe followed the Mashantucket Pequots lead by opening their casino in nearby Uncasville in 1996. Today, the two Connecticut resort casinos generate $1.4 billion in slot revenue alone and contribute $360 million annually to the state government budget.
Slot machine and resort gambling expanded to Rhode Island, New York and Maine; and Massachusetts is considering legalizing three or five of its own gambling properties.
But Holder was there, 25 years ago, waiting outside the bingo tent, wondering if anyone would bother to make the drive to rural eastern Connecticut.
“The players just showed up and never left,” Holder said. “The casino just enveloped us.”
To honor its beginnings, Foxwoods held its annual Firecracker Bingo tournament July 2, a 3,500-seat event with a $500 buy-in and a superjackpot of $1 million.
To honor those employees and all the other who contributed to Foxwoods over the years, the property will hold a much smaller anniversary ceremony on July 6 — the actual anniversary date of the bingo tent opening.
Rather than the lavish door prizes of corvettes and millions in payouts at the Firecracker Bingo tournament, the July 6 ceremony will be limited to a cake-cutting and a few remarks from Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council Chairman Rodney Butler and Foxwoods President and CEO Scott Butera, who started with the casino in January.
“They are going to give special recognition to employees that were here on day one,” Holder said.
On a normal day when Foxwoods isn’t hosting a 3,500-seat bingo tournament, the property pays homage to its beginnings twice. Seven days a week, patrons can play bingo at the bingo hall from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 6:30 to 10 p.m.
The new hall isn’t the original tent. It was video bingo terminals and portable electronic bingo cards. But players can still play on paper.
“It has been fun going this all these years,” Holder said. “We look forward to playing this game and serving these loyal customers that come every year.”
By Brad Kane