Mashantucket Pequot Tribe Celebrates 25 Years of Bingo

The Seminole tribe in Florida was the first to offer high stakes bingo in the United States and since then bingo has been a boon for Native American tribes across the US. The Seminoles opened their first bingo hall in Hollywood Florida in 1979. At the time the state of Florida limited bingo jackpots to a measly $100 dollars. Because of the tribe’s status the Seminoles were able to skirt Florida law and offer much bigger jackpots. The state of Florida mounted a legal challenge against the bingo hall but the Seminoles were victorious in court. Since then many other tribes have opened casinos and bingo halls on their reservations.

The Mashantucket Pequot tribe in Massachusetts opened up one of the most successful bingo operations in the country. Foxwoods casino is one of the largest casinos in the northeast. Recently Foxwoods celebrated its 25th anniversary. The tribe started with a bingo hall that employed 40 people and generated about $3 million a year. Today the Foxwoods employs 10,000 people and generates more than $1 billion annually for the tribe. The bingo hall started with 1,200 seats and expanded to accommodate 3,500 players. Senior Vice President Todd Greenberg told the crowd of celebrants “We’ve brought in a lot of new people and we’re undergoing a tremendous effort to restore Foxwoods to being the finest gaming facility. We’re going to improve operations across the board and give you guys a lot more reasons to come here.”

Today Foxwoods has grown into one of the top gaming resorts in the US. Foxwoods offers high stakes gaming including casino games, poker, blackjack and of course, bingo. The resort features entertainment that rivals Las Vegas. Across the US many other tribes started out with high stakes bingo and expanded into casino development. Thanks to gambling many tribes have lifted themselves out of poverty and tribal casinos have financed infrastructure improvements and social services on several reservations.

Some tribes have expressed an interest in online gaming including online bingo. Currently it is illegal for bingo sites to process gambling related transactions but once online gambling is legal again the tribes will be in a perfect position to provide online bingo.

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