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October slots revenues mirror storm-ravaged October 2012

By Brian Hallenbeck

Publication: The Day

Published November 16. 2013 4:00AM

Mohegan Sun posted a year-over-year gain in slot-machine revenue last month, while Foxwoods Resort Casino was down less than 2 percent.

Mohegan Sun reported Friday that it "won," or kept, nearly $49 million wagered at its machines after paying out prizes, a 1 percent increase over October 2012. It was the casino's best year-over-year performance since December 2011 and only its second gain since then.

Mohgan Sun's slots win was up by less than a tenth of a percent in August.

Foxwoods, including MGM Grand at Foxwoods, reported an October slots win of $42.1 million, a 1.9 percent decline over the same month the previous year. For Foxwoods, it was the smallest year-over-year decline of any month since February 2012.

Foxwoods last posted a gain in December 2011.

Last month's year-over-year comparisons appeared to reflect, in part, the impact of Superstorm Sandy on the casinos' October 2012 slots revenues. Both casinos experienced dramatic year-over-year declines that month, during which the storm disrupted business on the final weekend. At one point, state highways were shut down.

The storm caused Atlantic City casinos to close for several days in October 2012, a circumstance that helped them post a rare year-over-year gain in gaming revenues last month.

The storm affected Connecticut's casinos far less than it did those in Atlantic City, said Bobby Soper, Mohegan Sun's president and chief executive officer.

"We went back and looked and we had 100 percent (hotel) occupancy during the storm days," he said. "So it wasn't a major factor."

Mohegan Sun experienced "a further stabilization of volumes" in October and a slight increase in the amount customers spent per visit, though it was "nothing significant," Soper said.

In terms of "handle" - the total amount wagered on slot machines before prizes were paid out - Mohegan Sun was up 2.8 percent to $592.7 million in October, while Foxwood's handle of $480.7 million for the month was down 7.5 percent.

Mohegan Sun contributed $12.2 million of its slots win to the state; Foxwoods anted up $10.5 million.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

OCTOBER 2013 SLOT-MACHINE REVENUES

FOXWOODS

Total win (in millions): $42.1

Yearly change: -1.9%

State contribution (in millions): $10.5

* Hold: 8.76%

Operating units: 5,832

MOHEGAN SUN

Total win (in millions): $49.0

Yearly change: 1.0%

State contribution (in millions): $12.2

* Hold: 8.26%

Operating units: 5,530

*Hold is the average percent of total wagers kept by the casino.

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