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Casinos take big year-over-year hit in October slots revenue

October was no great shakes for the casinos, at least in terms of slot-machine revenues.

Foxwoods Resort Casino kept $26.1 million after paying out slots prizes, a 24.4% decline over the same month a year ago, while Mohegan Sun’s “win” was $35.8 million, down 18.0%.

The declines are among the steepest the casinos have experienced in any month since they reopened June 1 after an 11-week shutdown amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The casinos have continued to operate at far below full capacity, their theaters, arenas and buffets shuttered. All restaurants at Mohegan Sun and nearly all of them at Foxwoods are observing limits on hours of service that Gov. Ned Lamont imposed earlier this month.

In the five months since reopening, Foxwoods has kept $147.5 million in slots revenue, a 19.5% decrease over the same period the previous year, when it kept $183.2 million.

Mohegan Sun has fared somewhat better, keeping $214.7 million in slots revenue the past five months compared to the $231.8 million it kept the year before, a decrease of 7.4%.

The casinos pay the state 25% of the slots revenue they keep. Foxwoods’ October payment was $6.5 million; Mohegan Sun’s was $9.0 million.

In the weeks ahead, the casinos may benefit from the fact that commercial casinos in neighboring states have had to reduce their hours amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. Massachusetts casinos are now closing by 9:30 p.m. and those in Rhode Island are closing by 10 p.m. on weekdays and by 10:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Both MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Mass., posted declines in October gaming revenues, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission reported Monday. MGM’s gaming revenues — table games as well as slots — totaled $17.5 million in October, down 17.4% over the same month a year ago. Encore’s gaming revenues of $45.8 million were down 10.2%.

The American Gaming Association reported Monday that U.S. commercial casino gaming revenue totaled more than $9 billion in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, down 19% over the same period in 2019 but up 294% over the second quarter, the height of the COVID-19 shutdown.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

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