Foxwoods' slots revenue up in February, Mohegan Sun's down

Foxwoods Resort Casino posted a year-over-year increase in its slot-machine revenue last month while Mohegan Sun's total was its second-lowest in 13 years.

Foxwoods' gain was not unexpected, given that February 2013 was such a downer.

The Mashantucket Pequot-owned casino "won," or kept, $39.3 million wagered at its machines last month, 2.2 percent more than the $38.5 million it won in February 2013, a month in which a blizzard shut down the state for days.

Nevetheless, Mohegan Sun's $43.9 million win was down 3.4 percent over its $45.4 million win in February 2013. Last month's win was the Mohegan Tribe-owned casino's second-lowest since January 2001 when it won $39.7 million. (Mohegan Sun's January win this year was $43.2 million.)

Foxwoods' "handle" — the total amount bet on its machines — totaled $479.3 million last month, a year-over-year increase of 3.6 percent. Mohegan Sun's handle of $525.8 million was down 4.4 percent.

Scott Butera, Foxwoods' president and chief executive officer, was positive as he hailed his casino's February results.

"The increase over last year is certainly impacted by last year's blizzard. However, this is a positive sign," he said in a statement. "The continued consistency in our numbers signifies that the direction we are taking is the correct one for our business and our loyal guests."

Bobby Soper, Butera's counterpart at Mohegan Sun, said February's extreme weather had been "more impactful" than the blizzard of February 2013.

"Notwithstanding the slight decline, we actually feel positive about (last month's) numbers," he said. "Last February we had a bad snow storm but this February we had more snow and more frigid temperatures, which affected our volumes."

Soper said Mohegan Sun was primarily focused on profitability and the cost-effectiveness of its marketing, including the amount of free slots play it offers its patrons.

In February, slots players redeemed $4.6 million worth of free-play coupons and credits at Mohegan Sun, substantially less than the $6.8 million players redeemed at Foxwoods.

In recent months, both casinos have posted some of their lowest revenue totals in more than a decade.

Foxwoods' wins in January ($37.1 million) and December ($37.6 million) were its lowest since the $36.6 million of December 1996.

Mohegan Sun forwarded $11.0 million of its February win to the state; Foxwoods contributed $10.5 million.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

February 2014 Slot-Machine Revenues

FOXWOODS
Total win (in millions):
$39.3
Yearly change: 2.2%
State contribution (in millions): $10.5
* Hold: 8.21%
Operating units: 5,823

MOHEGAN SUN
Total win (in millions):
$43.9
Yearly change: -3.4%
State contribution (in millions): $11.0
* Hold: 8.34%
Operating units: 5,468

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

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