Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun report another month of slots-revenue decline

Slot-machine revenue at southeastern Connecticut's casinos continued to slide in June, the first month in which a new competitor, Encore Boston Harbor, was open, albeit only during the last eight days of the month.

Foxwoods Resort Casino reported Monday that its slot revenue in June was down nearly 12 percent compared to the previous June, while Mohegan Sun reported a 5-percent decline.

Both casinos have experienced 12 straight months of year-over-year decreases in slots revenue. MGM Springfield, Massachusetts’ first full-scale casino, came on line last August, followed 10 months later by Encore, which opened June 23 in the city of Everett, just outside Boston.

The Connecticut casinos’ plan to open an East Windsor casino to lessen MGM Springfield’s impact has yet to move forward.

Foxwoods “won,” or kept, $35.3 million in slots wagers after paying prizes last month, 11.8 percent less than the $40.1 million it kept the previous June. The casino’s slots “handle” — total wagers before prizes were paid — was $436.1 million last month, down 12.7 percent.

Mohegan Sun kept $46.9 million last month, 5 percent less than the $49.4 million it kept in June 2018, and posted a handle of $567.8 million, a 7.2 percent decline.

Encore, in its first eight days, kept $9.1 million in slots revenue, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported. The figure represents more than 60 percent of MGM Springfield’s $14.7 million in slots revenue for the entire month of June.

Massachusetts also discloses its casinos’ table-games revenues on a monthly basis. Encore kept $7.7 million in table-games revenue in the eight days it was open in June, more than the $5.3 million MGM Springfield kept for the month. 

MGM Springfield’s gaming revenues have fallen well short of pre-opening projections.

Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun pay 25 percent of their monthly slots win to the state. In June, Foxwoods’ payment was $9 million and Mohegan Sun’s was $11.7 million.

In the 2019 fiscal year that ended June 30, the Connecticut casinos forwarded $255.2 million to the state — 6.2 percent less than the $272.2 million they paid the previous fiscal year. The state Office and Policy and Management and the state Office of Fiscal Analysis had projected April 30 that the casino payments for the 2019 fiscal year would total $254.6 million. At that time, the offices projected the payments would fall to $226 million in fiscal 2020, to $225.4 million in fiscal 2021 and to $221.4 million in fiscal 2022.

Sports betting at Rhode Island casinos, introduced late last year, has been cited as another competitive challenge facing Connecticut casinos. More recently, wagering on sports has been authorized at upstate New York casinos and, as of last Friday, in New Hampshire, which has yet to issue the necessary licenses.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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