Scott Butera is moving on again. The highly respected financial wizard, whose specialty is reviving distressed companies, has resigned as president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment, to take over at Foxwoods Resort and Casino as president and CEO.
Butera made his name guiding the Trump casinos out of bankruptcy and has been involved in several other casino companies in similar situations, including Tropicana. He engineered the sale of the Las Vegas Tropicana to the Onex Corporation, and ensured a smooth transition when Icahn purchased the Atlantic City Tropicana out of conservatorship after the state pulled the gaming license of Columbia Sussex.
At Foxwoods, Butera joins a company mired in debt, complicated by its ownership by a sovereign tribal nation. The company recently defaulted on $700 million in debt, out of a total of $2 billion. Expansion plans into Philadelphia have been short-circuited by the debt issues, and seems to have been resolved within the last month in a takeover by Harrah’s Entertainment. In Connecticut, the flagship property is over-extended and its most recent addition, MGM Grand at Foxwoods, has struggled to meet projections. Increased competition in New York, Rhode Island and soon in Massachusetts makes Foxwoods a challenge, even to an expert like Butera.
“As North America’s largest resort casino, Foxwoods is a true industry leader, and I look forward to bringing my own experience and insight to the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, who has done so much for the state of Connecticut and this region,” Butera said.