Mohegan Gaming says it had another strong quarter

Mohegan — Mohegan Sun led its corporate parent, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, to a strong fourth-quarter finish, company officials announced Tuesday in a conference call with investors and industry analysts.

During the three months that ended Sept. 30, MGE, which also operates Mohegan Sun Pocono in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., posted net income, or profit, of $55.4 million, a 25 percent increase over the same quarter the previous year. The company’s net revenues totaled $362 million, of which Mohegan Sun, the company’s flagship casino in Uncasville, supplied $284.1 million.

MGE’s fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

“Solid gaming volumes at Mohegan Sun were complemented by very strong, across-the-board nongaming revenue growth, a trend we expect to persist with the introduction of the new Mohegan Sun Exposition and Convention Center,” Mario Kontomerkos, MGE’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement released prior to the call. "The addition of the exposition and convention center, along with other ongoing initiatives, will continue to position Mohegan Sun as the premier gaming and entertainment destination in the Northeast for years to come.”

The convention center, now under construction, is scheduled to open in the summer.

Mohegan Sun’s gaming revenues of $240.8 million were up 3.8 percent in the quarter. Nongaming revenues from restaurants, hotels, retail and entertainment totaled $68.3 million, a 26.4 percent increase.

At Mohegan Sun Pocono, gaming revenues were down 4.1 percent while nongaming revenues decreased 19.4 percent. Nevertheless, adjusted EBITDA — earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization — was up 8.5 percent, reflecting “efforts to contain” payroll costs and marketing and promotional expenses, MGE reported.

MGE also derives revenue in the form of fees it earns for managing Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, the ilani Casino Resort in La Center, Wash., and the Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, La. Kontomerkos said during the call that MGE’s plans for development of an integrated resort casino in South Korea “continue apace.” Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for next year, with an opening expected in late 2020 or early 2021, Kontomerkos said.

“It’ll be a game-changer for our company,” he said.

In response to a question, Kontomerkos said the Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes "continue to press forward" with plans to develop a third Connecticut casino in East Windsor "despite discussions in the media that suggest otherwise."

The Connecticut law authorizing the project is contingent on the U.S. Department of the Interior's approval of amended gaming agreements between the tribes and the state. The tribes have threatened to sue over the department's failure to act on the amendments.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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