MGM bus service making CT stops

BY Joe Cooper

PHOTO | Contributed
PHOTO | Contributed
MGM's new $960 million casino in Springfield.
MGM Springfield is upping the ante to coax Connecticut residents to its new $960 million casino and entertainment complex through a weekday round-trip bus service.

The casino's $20 bus service has stops at nine Connecticut cities and towns -- Hartford, West Hartford, East Hartford, Farmington, New Britain, Middletown, Glastonbury, Enfield and Windsor Locks. MGM buses are also making stops at several locations across Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Under the service, those 21 and older receive a $20 gaming voucher and $10 food credit redeemable at the casino's South End Market.

MGM also offers a door-to-door driving service seven days a week in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

The transportation tactic has long been a fixture for Connecticut's tribal casinos, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun.

Plus, Foxwoods and Mohegan for years have been adding amenities and entertainment attractions to their sprawling southeastern Connecticut facilities in preparation of MGM's return to New England.

But competition is stiff. Both casinos reported lower gaming revenues in each of the last four months, and Mohegan on Thursday posted a 25 percent dip in fourth quarter net income and a 4.6 percent decline in full-year profits.

In Thursday's earnings release, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment CEO and President Mario Kontomerkos said the fourth-quarter decline resulted "in part due to the impact of a recent competitive opening in the Northeast gaming market."

Meantime, MGM also reported a gaming revenue fall in its second full-month in operation. The casino said its gaming revenues fell from $27 million in September to $22.2 million in October, a 17.6 percent decrease.