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Mohegan Gaming had eventful quarter in year's first three months

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Mohegan — Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment experienced an 11.5% decline in net revenue during the quarter that ended March 31, while Mohegan Sun’s year-over-year net revenue for the same period was up 3.7%, the company reported Thursday.

MGE, the Mohegan Tribe’s global gaming enterprise, posted net revenue of $278.6 million in the quarter, down from $314.7 million in the same three months the previous year, during which the coronavirus pandemic struck. Compared to the same quarter in pre-pandemic 2019, the latest quarterly figure was down 9.4%.

Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, MGE’s flagship casino, had net revenue of $189 million in the quarter, up from $182.3 million a year ago and down 20.7% compared to the same quarter in 2019.

Mohegan Sun had net gaming revenue of $146 million in the latest quarter, a year-over-year increase of 17%. The casino’s quarterly nongaming revenue showed significant decreases, with food-and-beverage revenue down 43.8% and “retail, entertainment and other” down 26.4%. Hotel revenue was up 1.3%.

Ray Pineault, named MGE’s interim chief executive officer near the end of the quarter, noted during a conference call with investors and gaming analysts that several significant developments occurred during the period.

“The March quarter was important in the evolution of MGE, as we opened the Mohegan Sun Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas — representing MGE's latest expansion and entry in the significant Las Vegas market," he said. "Continuing the trend of firsts, MGE, in partnership with the governor of the State of Connecticut and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, reached an agreement to allow online gaming and retail and mobile sports betting, which when approved by the Connecticut legislature would expand MGE's online footprint while providing further diversification to our business.”

Pineault said he was confident the tribes would introduce online gaming and sports betting by the end of the year. In recent weeks, state and tribal officials have said they hoped to have sports betting in place for the upcoming NFL season, meaning the fall.

Late in the quarter, Pineault added, “MGE's Inspire project in Incheon, South Korea, received an important approval from South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, clearing the path to obtain (final) financing for the project.” Construction was underway when the pandemic hit.

While most MGE properties in the United States continue to recover from last year’s pandemic-induced shutdowns and gradual reopenings, its two casinos in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, remain closed.

Carol Anderson, MGE’s chief financial officer, reported that MGE completed a comprehensive refinancing in January and faces no major debt maturities until April 2023.

Responding to a question posed by The Day, Pineault wrote in an email earlier in the week that MGE currently has no intention of pursuing a license for a Chicago casino. That city, the third largest metropolitan market in the country, issued a request for casino proposals late last month. Submissions are due in August.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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