Posted on: March 13, 2023, 10:52h.
Last updated on: March 13, 2023, 11:07h.
Celebrity chef and restauranteur Gordon Ramsay his expanding his kitchen empire into Connecticut by way of Foxwoods Resort Casino.
Foxwoods celebrated its 31st anniversary over the weekend with some exciting news. Along with detailing its Great Wolf Lodge expansion, a sprawling 13-acre family-focused amusement and entertainment complex, the tribal casino announced the forthcoming arrival of one of the world’s most celebrated chefs in Ramsay.
Through a partnership with Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, Foxwoods says Ramsay and the casino will bring a Hell’s Kitchen restaurant to the property this summer.
Thank you to everyone who joined us today in celebrating our 31st Anniversary! We are extremely excited to welcome Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen to Foxwoods Resort Casino THIS SUMMER. pic.twitter.com/ZShxfDgoll
— Foxwoods Resort Casino (@FoxwoodsCT) March 10, 2023
Hell’s Kitchen, the restaurant brand inspired by Ramsay’s “Hell’s Kitchen” television series, will be located in Foxwoods’ Grand Pequot Concourse. The venue will seat 260 diners, plus feature a chef’s counter and a private dining room with seating for 40 guests.
We are always looking for new and unique ways to elevate our guests’ experience,” said Jason Guyot, Foxwoods’ president and CEO. “The addition of Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen and partnership with one of the world’s most renowned chefs further solidifies our portfolio of world-class dining.”
Hell’s Kitchen at Foxwoods, the project listing describes, will feature an “immersive dining experience” that combines the “energy and excitement of a busy kitchen with upscale comfort and sophistication.”
Foxwoods, which is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is one of the largest casino destinations in the US.
Foxwoods’ casino floors jointly measure about 350,000 square feet and house more than 3,500 slot machines and 250 table games. A proper integrated resort such as Foxwoods needs an array of dining, from grab-n-go and fast casual to fine dining, to keep the thousands of guests it welcomes daily satisfied.
Ramsay is opening his sixth Hell’s Kitchen in the US at Foxwoods. It’s his first restaurant in Connecticut.
Ramsay has Hell’s Kitchens at several US casinos, including inside Caesars Atlantic City, Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, and Harrah’s Resort Southern California in Funner north of San Diego.
Ramsay’s Hell Kitchen at Foxwoods will join other celebrity-inspired culinary offerings at the Connecticut resort. The tribal casino currently offers David Burke Prime and Guy Fieri’s Foxwoods Kitchen + Bar.
Under the Mashantuckets’ Class III gaming compact with Connecticut that allows Foxwoods to operate slot machines, table games, and sports betting, the tribe shares 25% of its slot win with the state.
But as casinos have opened in neighboring New York, Rhode Island, and most recently Massachusetts, Foxwoods slots have won far less money. Continued expansion of casinos across the Northeast further threatens Foxwoods and its in-state rival Mohegan Sun.
In 2006, its best year ever, Foxwoods sent the state $204.2 million in slot share. In pre-pandemic 2019, the state’s 25% cut of Foxwoods’ slots winnings was down to $110 million. During 2020, the most restrictive COVID year, the state received less than $70 million.
Foxwoods slightly rebounded in 2021, with the state’s cut totaling about $88.9 million. The pandemic presumably changed some gambling behaviors, as Foxwoods experienced a year-over-year gross gaming revenue decline for its terminals in 2021. The state as a result collected $88.6 million.
However, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are generating new gaming revenue online. Because of the ongoing encroaching competition paired with the pandemic, Connecticut allowed its two tribes to begin operating iGaming with interactive slots and table games in March 2022. Online sports wagering also commenced that month.