MASHANTUCKET, Conn., July 17, 2019 — Today The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council announces tribal gaming executive John J. James has been named the new President and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino. James currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for Morongo Casino Resort & Spa located in Cabazon, California and will be taking the helm at Foxwoods beginning August 12.
James succeeds Felix D. Rappaport, whose untimely death in June of 2018 led to Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler taking over as the resort’s interim CEO shortly thereafter. With over 25 years of highly successful Native American gaming resort operations experience, James is uniquely positioned to lead Foxwoods into its next evolution as the premier entertainment destination in the Northeast. His expertise and vision will help build on Foxwoods’ solid foundation and maximize the tremendous growth opportunities that lie ahead.
“Over the past decade, Foxwoods transformed the traditional gaming model through a relentless pursuit of guest-first experiences resulting in the only true all-encompassing resort destination,” said Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Chairman Rodney Butler. “With his proven track record for innovation, John is the right leader to continue that commitment to our guests, fulfill our vision and ignite our passion for delivering a resort that excites and surprises. John perfectly represents our team’s values and beliefs, and we are ready to drive the future of Foxwoods together.”
James’ deep expertise across key business units including finance, innovative marketing and award-winning design and development allows him to take a “whole-brained” approach to growth and profitability.
“Foxwoods is the premier destination in the Northeast and a pioneer in the tribal gaming community, and I’m thrilled to be joining their stellar team,” said James. “Over the past 27 years, Foxwoods and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation have built a world-class resort casino with an unparalleled array of offerings for guests, and I look forward to working with the entire team to continue fortifying Foxwoods’ position as one of North America’s premier resort destinations.”
Prior to joining Morongo Casino Resort & Spa, James was Chief Executive Officer for Gila River Gaming Enterprises, Inc. where he led the tribe’s three casinos in achieving the highest recorded earnings in the State of Arizona. He also held chief executive roles at Seminole Gaming, Inc. and Pechanga Resort and Casino. Additionally, James served as a Vice President and General Manager for various successful Station Casinos properties in Las Vegas.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, James attended the University of Nevada where he graduated from the accounting program. As he assumes his new role at Foxwoods, he and his wife Giselle will be relocating to Mystic, Connecticut.