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Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation diversifies beyond gambling and entertainment at Foxwoods, acquires government contracting firm

Foxwoods Resorts Casino, the parent company of Foxwoods Resorts Casino, announced Wednesday its latest acquisition of a business aimed at generating revenue regardless of business conditions or the pandemic.

Command Holdings, the holding company of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, with expertise in government, healthcare, facilities management and technology, is a federally focused government contracting firm based in Tampa, Florida. Acquired WWC Global, a company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Angelina Casanova, member of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and chairman of Command Holdings’ board of directors, said, “The tribe will undoubtedly be able to weather various recessions and cycles and diversify the economy away from the game. It was intended to convert

With over $100 million in annual revenue and 350 employees, WWC Global’s customer portfolio includes Defense, Homeland Security, State and International Development Agencies.

WWC Global is a professional services contractor that addresses the business aspects of government, including financial management, budgeting, training and other programs. Command Holdings Chief Executive Officer Jon Panamaroff says federal contracts are more sustainable than seasonal businesses subject to ups and downs.

WWC Global was founded by women who were prohibited from working with their husbands on foreign military bases, said chief executive Lauren Weiner.

“We’re out of professional-level careers,” she said. “We were basically told that we had to sit at home and enjoy being spouses of military personnel abroad and not have to work. That was not what we wanted to hear. It wasn’t what we wanted to do.”

Casanova said tribal leaders decided to focus on diversifying the Mashantucket Pequot business after the Great Recession. In 2008 his slot revenues were down nearly 11%, putting him in a loss of $88.7 million from before the 2006 recession.

After more than a decade, the 2020 pandemic and the nearly three-month closure of Foxwoods to slow the spread of COVID-19 has seen its earnings plummet. As the pandemic receded, it slowly began to rise.

But even before COVID-19, increased casino competition in the Northeast was squeezing revenues. MGM Springfield opened in August 2018, followed by Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor the following year, attracting gamblers and tourists from Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, to Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and Lords. It was already crowded.

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Foxwoods’ slot revenue has been declining each year in the three years before the pandemic, down nearly 8% from $468 million in 2017 to $431.3 million in 2019.

Moody’s Investors Service analysts John E. Puchala and Keith Foley wrote in an April 21 report that Foxwoods needed the Mashantucket Pequot tribal state to underpin its credit. It creates a vulnerability to competition and an inability to sell assets to pay off debt.”

Casino competition and the distinct areas of sports and online gambling enjoyed by some states were key issues in Gov. Ned Lamont’s negotiations with the administration last year.

Nationally, tribal enterprises are “local and regional economic engines,” according to a report by the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank. As of January 2020, the tribe provided him with over 1.1 million jobs in the United States, most of which were occupied by non-tribe members. The tribes are active in numerous industries, including hospitality, tourism, energy, manufacturing, development and financial services, the report said.

The recent acquisition by Mashantucket Pequot is not the first for Command Holdings, which completed two other transactions in July 2021. Acquired CeLeen Inc., an information technology company based in St. Louis, and Quattro Consulting in Washington, DC.

The company owns a fourth company, Copperhead Technologies, a computer programming and systems design company.

Stephen Singer can be reached at singer@courant.com.

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