November 15, 2018

CT casino revenues continue to fall

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
PHOTO | Joe Cooper
Foxwoods' Grand Pequot Tower.

Connecticut's tribal casino operators each reported a drop in revenue and wagers in October for the fourth consecutive month amid competition from MGM's new Springfield gaming facility.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, on Thursday posted slot revenue of $34.4 million last month, down 10 percent vs. $38.2 million it recorded in the year-ago period.

The amount slot bettors wagered in October, known as the "handle," was nearly $436.4 million, down 10.6 percent compared to the $488.1 million wagered in Oct. 2017.

Foxwoods' slot revenue fell 5 percent year-over-year in September, 1.6 percent in August and 5 percent in July. The casino's slot revenue jumped 5.7 percent in June.

Foxwoods said it contributed $9 million to Connecticut's general fund last month.

Also Thursday, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment said it recorded $42.5 million in slot revenue last month, down about 10.5 percent from the $47.6 million it recorded in the year-ago period.

The handle was $546.9 million, down roughly 6.4 percent vs. the $584.6 million wagered in Oct. 2017.

Mohegan's slot revenue declined 8.8 percent in September, less than 1 percent in August and 1.3 percent in July. Slot revenues were flat in June.

The Uncasville casino said it contributed $10.6 million to the state in October.

The four-month decline comes as MGM Springfield nears its third full month operating its $960 million casino and entertainment complex.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are working together to build a proposed $300 million entertainment complex in East Windsor to remain competitive in the central and northern portions of Connecticut.

However, the proposed development is in doubt as Department of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has refused to approve the plans, which are planned off tribal grounds. A CNN report said Zinke's decision is under investigation as the Mashantucket tribe has argued he was coaxed into blocking the proposed development.

Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot tribe and interim CEO of Foxwoods, is still confident the proposed East Windsor casino will be built.

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