In 1983, Congress overrode a veto by then-President Ronald Reagan, allowing the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation to obtain legal control of their reservation from the federal government. By 1992, the Pequot Nation opened Foxwoods Casino, which quickly became the largest employer in the state of Connecticut. I took these photographs there in 1996 and 1997. Boredom and trouble dogged the lives of many who are seen in these images. My brief conversations with joyless patrons and service and security personnel confirmed this.
I remember discussing the idea of “fun” with one of the guards, since that was the dominant theme of the advertising hoopla surrounding the casino. “Why was there little or no evidence of fun there”, I asked? “You don’t see it because it doesn’t really exist”, he replied.