Another slide in casinos' year-over-year slots revenues

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Slot-machine revenues were down at Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun in November, the fifth straight month in which both casinos have experienced year-over-year declines.

Foxwoods reported Friday that it kept $35.3 million in slots winnings after paying out prizes last month, 8 percent less than the $38.3 million it kept the same month a year ago. Mohegan Sun kept $44.3 million last month, 6.8 percent less than in November 2017. Mohegan Sun's "handle," the total amount of slots wagers before prizes were paid, totaled $555.2 million last month, down 5.6 percent, while Foxwoods' handle of $454.8 million was down 4 percent.

Mohegan Sun paid $11.1 million of its November slots revenue to the state. Foxwoods contributed $9.2 million.

The declines in slots winnings last month were not as steep as those in October, when Foxwoods was down 10 percent and Mohegan Sun was down 10.6 percent.

Both casinos now have reported sizable declines in September, October and November, months that coincide with the first full three months of operation at MGM Springfield, the nearly $1 billion resort casino that opened in late August near Connecticut's northern border.

Casino officials said their losses have not been as significant as they anticipated.

“With MGM Springfield in its first few months of operation, not only did we expect to see an impact, we’ve also consistently and publicly communicated our expectations over the last three years while proactively working with the state toward mitigating any potential loss in revenue,” said Rodney Butler, the Mashantucket Pequot tribal chairman serving as Foxwoods’ interim chief executive officer.

"As we’ve said all along, when competition was added, we anticipated some decline,” said Ray Pineault, Mohegan Sun’s president and general manager. “Actually, we’re pleased that the declines are less than we anticipated.”

Pineault said Mohegan Sun has been making “adjustments” to offset MGM Springfield’s impact. He said the casino's new convention center and its hotels have been performing well.

“We’re not at all disappointed,” he said.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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