Weak Economy, Competition Press Casino Debt

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The chairman of the Indian tribe that
runs Foxwoods Resort Casino in eastern Connecticut says the weak
economy and sharply rising competition in the Northeast are making
it hard to renegotiate $2.3 billion in debt.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal
Council, said in an interview on WNPR radio on Tuesday that casinos
expected to open in Massachusetts in the next few years and table
games that he expects to be approved by voters in Rhode Island in
November will sharply cut into revenue for Foxwoods and its

He said the debt accumulated because the Mashantucket tribe
chose to seek growth over the years.

Butler also said more limits on smoking in the casino are not
likely as Foxwoods seeks to cater to patrons who enjoy smoking
while gambling.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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