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Casinos' slots revenue continues 16-month slide

By Brian Hallenbeck

Publication: The Day

Published May 16. 2013 4:00AM

Slot-machine revenues at the region's casinos declined in April for the 16th consecutive month.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, including MGM Grand at Foxwoods, reported Wednesday that it "won," or kept, $44.4 million wagered on its machines, 10.2 percent less than it won in April 2012.

It was the casino's seventh double-digit decline in the eight months beginning with September.

Mohegan Sun's April win of $52.6 million was down 4.2 percent.

A month ago, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun reported March declines of 5.7 and 1.0 percent, respectively, figures that represented a rebound from steep, double-digit declines in February, which featured exceptionally harsh weather.

"There is a sense of optimism that our revenue trends have stabilized," Bobby Soper, Mohegan Sun's president and chief executive officer, said. "You look at April, which had one less Sunday (than the previous April), you normalize for that and we're pretty close to flat.

"It does seem like we're seeing much better trends from a volume perspective. There are more people, but the amount they're spending is holding steady. Consumer confidence is still where it's been."

Scott Butera, Foxwoods' president and CEO, said that while Foxwoods' slots revenue declined in April, the casino's other revenue streams were encouraging.

"Table games, food and beverage, entertainment and the overall profitability of the enterprise were very good," Butera said, adding that the level of "spending and activity" at the casino has picked up the last couple of months.

Foxwoods said its April "handle," the total amount wagered at its machines, totaled $528.9 million, down 11.9 percent over the same month the previous year. Mohegan Sun's handle of $627.5 million was down 4.6 percent.

Foxwoods operated 5,901 machines during April, the first time since May 2001 that it's averaged fewer than 6,000 during a month. Mohegan Sun had 5,533 machines on line last month, the 14th straight month it's had fewer than 6,000.

Foxwoods, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, forwarded $11.2 million of its slots win to the state. Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribe, contributed $13.2 million to the state's coffers.

b.hallenbeck@theday.com

 

MORE

April 2013 Slot-Machine Revenues

FOXWOODS

Total win (in millions): $44.4

Yearly change: -10.2%

State contribution (in millions): $11.2

* Hold: 8.40%

Operating units: 5,901

MOHEGAN SUN

Total win (in millions): $52.6

Yearly change: -4.2%

State contribution (in millions): $13.2

* Hold: 8.39%

Operating units: 5,533

*Hold is the average percent of total wagers kept by the casino.

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