HARTFORD, CT — Gov. Ned Lamont’s office announced late Monday evening that both federally recognized tribes will close their casinos in southeastern Connecticut by 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 17.

The casinos, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, which haven’t closed since they opened in 1992 and 1996, will remain closed for two weeks.

Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler said the decision to close Foxwoods to the public was not easy, but is the right thing to do.

“This is a humbling reflection on the ongoing public health crisis and it is the right decision,” Butler said. “Our concern is for health and safety of the community and of the public. The coronavirus is a threat to each and every one of us, and we believe shutting our doors will keep our visitors, employees and the public more safe.”

Lamont thanked the tribes for their cooperation.

“This is an important cooperative agreement between sovereign nations and the State of Connecticut,” Lamont said. “We all share the same goal: toward ensuring our residents are safe and keeping public health at the top of our minds during this public health emergency. I applaud the tribes for their collaboration and partnership.”

Mohegan Tribal Chairman James Gessner said they made the decision to “ensure all of our guests, team members, and our partners across Connecticut, especially in our local communities, remain safe. We are successful if the state is successful, and that’s true in all facets, like public health.”