Another down month for both casinos

Southeastern Connecticut's casinos sustained double-digit declines in slot-machine revenues for a second straight month in April.

Foxwoods Resort Casino reported Thursday that it "won," or kept, $39.8 million in slots wagers last month, down 10.5 percent over April 2013. Mohegan Sun won $46.7 million last month, registering a year-over-year decline of 11.3 percent.

In March, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun recorded slots-revenue declines of 10.2 and 11.6 percent, respectively.

"It's a continued reflection of some softness in the economy," Bobby Soper, Mohegan Sun's president and chief executive officer, said of Mohegan Sun's numbers.

The calendar also presented a tough comparison, Soper said, with Easter Sunday, a day rarely associated with gambling, falling during April this year, but not in April 2013.

In addition, Mohegan Sun's entertainment schedule was not as strong this April as it was the same month last year, when Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, Green Day and others appeared at Mohegan Sun Arena, Soper noted.

Weekend bookings at the arena can have a profound effect on the casino's slots revenue, a reason for optimism among Mohegan Sun executives hoping for greater slots revenue in May. Rocker Bruce Springsteen's shows at the arena this Saturday and Sunday are sold out.

On Friday and Saturday, the Mohegan Sun Convention Center will host the Connecticut Republican Party's state convention.

"It's certainly a big weekend, but not as big as some we've had," Soper said.

More than 9,000 concert-goers will attend each of the Springsteen shows, he said, while more than 2,000 people are expected at each day of the GOP convention.

Convention-goers have booked more than 200 hotel rooms at Mohegan Sun, Soper said.

Foxwoods' entertainment calendar this month includes May 23's "Lion Fight 15," the East Coast debut of a mixed martial art from Thailand.

Amid light weekday traffic on its gaming floor, Foxwoods announced this week that it plans to shut down the slots in its Rainmaker Casino from 4 a.m. Monday to 9 a.m. Friday, starting June 9.

In April, Foxwoods' "handle," the total amount wagered at its slots, fell 4 percent while Mohegan Sun's handle tumbled 9 percent.

Foxwoods forwarded $10.8 million of its April win to the state. Mohegan Sun remitted $11.8 million.


April 2014 slot machine revenues

Total win (in millions): $39.8
Yearly change: -10.5%
State contribution (in millions): $10.8
* Hold: 7.83%
Operating units: 5,820

Mohegan Sun
Total win (in millions): $46.7
Yearly change: -11.3%
State contribution (in millions): $11.8
* Hold: 8.17%
Operating units: 5,447

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

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