The Mashantucket Pequot tribal council has announced that gaming executive John James has been named as the new president and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Taking up the role on August 12, James succeeds Felix Rappaport, whose untimely death in June of 2018 led to tribal chairman Rodney Butler taking over as the resort’s interim CEO.

Bringing in excess of 25 years of native American gaming leadership to the new position, James is to depart from his current position as COO of Morongo Casino Resort and Spa located in Cabazon, California.

Intending to lead the Connecticut property in its next stage of evolution, James is to also be charged with building upon a “solid foundation” to best maximise future growth opportunities.

Butler, chairman of Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, explained: “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. 

“With his proven track record for innovation, John is the right leader to continue that commitment to our guests, fulfil 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.”

Prior to joining Morongo, James was CEO for Gila River Gaming Enterprises, leading the tribe’s three Arizona-based casinos, in addition to having held chief executive roles at both Seminole Gaming and Pechanga Resort Casino and vice president and general manager positions at various Station Casinos properties across Las Vegas.

Of becoming president and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, James added: “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. 

“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.”