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Mohegan Gaming reports 'strong performance' in latest quarter

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Mohegan — Mohegan Sun generated $215.5 million in net revenue and $44.2 million in profit in the second quarter of its fiscal year, which ended March 31, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, the casino’s corporate parent, reported Thursday.

Net revenue was up 14% over the same period last year while profit, or net income, was down 15.3%.

MGE, which also operates casinos in Pennsylvania, Washington, Nevada and New Jersey, posted overall net revenues of $358.5 million in the quarter, a year-over-year increase of 28.7%, and adjusted EBITDA — a metric based on net income before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization — of $86.7 million, an increase of 7.4%.

The adjusted EBITDA “reflects our strong performance and focus on profitability,” Ray Pineault, MGE’s president and chief executive officer, told investors and industry analysts during a conference call. He said the number was achieved despite traffic at the company’s Northeast properties being adversely affected by the omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus and poor weekend weather early in the quarter.

Mohegan Sun’s adjusted EBITDA of $62.9 million in the quarter was down 10.1% over the same period a year ago "due to lower-than-expected volumes in January of the current period ...," MGE said in a news release.

MGE's overall gains in net revenue and adjusted EBITDA can be attributed to COVID-19’s impact in the prior period, when, for example, MGE’s Niagara Resorts in Ontario, Canada, were closed the entire quarter.

During the latest quarter, Pineault noted, Mohegan opened its FanDuel sportsbook and continued to develop the first phase of its Inspire integrated casino resort project in Incheon, South Korea.

MGE reported that concrete structural work is progressing at all of the Incheon project’s three hotel towers while structural steelwork is underway on other areas, including a casino and a 15,000-seat arena. The facility is scheduled to open late next year.

Responding to an analyst’s question, Jody Madigan, MGE’s chief operating officer, said inflation and high gas prices have yet to affect “visitation” at the company’s casinos. Ask to quantify the impact of the omicron variant and poor weather during the quarter, he estimated each accounted for several million dollars’ worth of lost revenue.

While traffic at the Niagara casinos hasn’t returned to pre-pandemic levels, those customers who have returned are gambling more than they did before, Madigan said.

Pineault said MGE is pleased with the performance of its digital gaming in Connecticut, where online gaming and sports betting — both online and in-person — were introduced in the fall. He said the new forms of gaming have been profitable, but offered no data.

Anecdotal evidence suggests, he said, that sports betting fans are visiting the casino more often.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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