Mitchell Etess told The Day of New London (http://bit.ly/QXYt7n) that casino CEO Jeffrey Hartmann has departed and will be replaced by Bobby Soper, CEO of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Hartman had been a Mohegan Sun executive since 1996 and the casino's CEO since 2011.
Etess said 282 employees were being laid off immediately and another 46 will be let go at the end of October when the casino closes a restaurant, which will reopen under new management. Etess said the casino is also shutting down its keno operation.
"You have to put this in the context of the amazing decline in business we've experienced," Etess told The Day. "The last thing we ever want to do is lay people off, but we had to do this to make the size of our workforce appropriate to our business volumes."
He said the layoffs affect workers in nearly every department and job level. Mohegan Sun cut about 350 workers two years ago. About 8,000 workers remain.
The casino and nearby rival Foxwoods have blamed recent revenue declines, including key slot machine revenues, on the weak economy and regional competition. A major competitor has been Resorts World Casino at the Aqueduct racetrack in New York City, which opened a year ago.
The tribal gaming authority said in March it had refinanced about $1 billion in debt to gain more time to improve its business and established about $225 million in credit.
Information from: The Day, http://www.theday.com