Connecticut Casino Revenue Falls in August, But More Slowly

Connecticut Casino Revenue Falls in August, But More Slowly
By Daniel Bettridge

Two Connecticut casinos saw slumping slot revenues for the month of August according to recent financial reports.

The two tribal run casinos, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s (MGE) Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, which is operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, reported modest decreases to overall revenues for the month ending Aug. 31.

Connecticut Casinos Financial Picture

Though the decreasing returns were better than the previous month, the numbers show that slot revenues continue to slump in the Constitution State.

According to a report in the Hartford Business Journal, Mohegan Sun kept $49.9 million in post prize slots revenue during August, down 6.4% from the $53.3 million it kept the same month a year ago. The handle, a term for the total amount slot bettors wagered in the month, was also down 3.8% year-over-year at just under $611 million dollars.

Meanwhile Foxwoods’ $39.5 million haul represented a 4.8% fall on the $41.4 million it kept in August 2018. Its handle was also down clocking in at $518.9 million, a 5.2% decrease compared to August 2018.

The financials, which were published on the official Connecticut state website, aren’t all bad news, however. Though revenues continue to decrease, August’s figures do at least represent something of an improvement on the year-over-year declines of 15% and 11% that Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, respectively, reported for July.

It is also worth noting that both casinos are required by a gaming compact to pay 25% of all slot revenues to the state of Connecticut, culminating in a contribution of $12.4 million from Mohegan Sun and $10.1 million from Foxwoods.

Connecticut Casinos Face Increased Competition

Increased competition is partly to blame for decreases at the casinos, which have shown falling slots revenues for 14 straight months now. In particular the newly opened MGM Springfield, and Wynn Resorts’ $2.6 billion Encore Boston Harbor casino, are being pointed to as significant factors in the negative trend.

However like their tribal-owned competition, both these two resorts have also posted falling slot revenues according to a report by New Haven, Connecticut-based newspaper The Day.

The MGM Springfield posted gaming revenue of nearly $21 million last month; in its 12th full month of operation the facility is continuing disappointing returns that have fallen well short of expectations.

Interestingly, MGM International has recently filed suit against the U.S. Department of Interior to stop Connecticut's casino-operating Native American tribes from expanding their operations off of tribal territory.

Other figures cited by the newspaper paint a similar picture for Encore Boston Harbor, which kept $20.2 million in slots revenue for August, less than it kept the previous month.

Indeed for the entire month the casino kept just 5.6% of the $395.2 million in wagers that were pumped into its slot machines, which means that more than 94.4% was dished out in prizes. But it did post increasing table games revenues to end the summer season.

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Daniel Bettridge has written on everything from pop culture to pro sports for publications such as The Guardian, The Times, The Atlantic and MSN. He is also a gambling enthusiast and author of three books.

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