Published September 16. 2013 10:00AM Updated September 16. 2013 6:26PM
For the first time in 20 months, a bit of black ink seeped into a Connecticut casino’s monthly slots report Monday, with Mohegan Sun reporting it “won,” or kept, more revenue in August than it had in the same month the previous year, if only about $18,000 more — less than a tenth of a percent.
Foxwoods Resort Casino reported a 3.7 percent decline in its August slots revenue, its smallest year-over-year decrease in 12 months. Foxwoods posted its last year-over-year gain in December 2011.
Mohegan Sun reported a slots win of $56.4 million for August, while Foxwoods, including MGM Grand at Foxwoods, kept $48.6 million.
Mohegan Sun increased its share of the Connecticut slots market to 53.7 percent, up from 52.8 percent a year earlier. Correspondingly, Foxwoods’ share fell to 46.3 percent from 47.2 percent.
Both Connecticut casinos continued to lose Northeast market share to the two-year-old Resorts World Casino at the Aqueduct racetrack in New York City. Resorts World reported an August slots win of $69.9 million, a 19 percent increase over August 2012.
Mohegan Sun also reported its “handle” — the total amount players pumped into slot machines during the month — reached $700.4 million, an increase of 1.9 percent over August 2012. Foxwoods’ handle of $586.8 million was down 1.0 percent.
“To have growth year-over-year is certainly a positive,” Bobby Soper, Mohegan Sun’s president and chief executive officer, said. “It’s hard to pinpoint one contributing factor but we had a very strong entertainment calendar in August. That certainly helped.”
August’s lineup at Mohegan Sun Arena included such big-name acts as Beyonce and Matchbox Twenty and the Goo Goo Dolls, which drew large concert crowds that typically boost slots revenue.
Compared to August 2012, last month’s calendar also featured an extra weekend day — a fifth Friday — another factor in the positive year-over-year comparisons.
Soper said Mohegan Sun’s “volume” of casino visitors has stabilized over the last couple of fiscal quarters and that the last half of the casino’s fiscal year — the six months ending in September — are generally better than the first half, the October-through-March period.
“But looking at it every month, I wouldn’t draw any conclusions,” he said.
Mohegan Sun sent $14.4 million of its August slots win to the state, while Foxwoods contributed $12.5 million.