CT casinos record eighth straight month of declining slot revenues

BY Joe Cooper

Photo | Flickr via Ted Murphy
Photo | Flickr via Ted Murphy
Connecticut's two tribal casinos on Friday each reported a decrease in February slot revenues, marking their eighth consecutive month in decline.

Operated by the Mashantucket Pequot tribe, Foxwoods posted slot revenue of $34.2 million last month, down 8 percent from $37.1 million recorded in Feb. 2018.

The amount slot bettors wagered in February, known as the "handle," was $411.5 million, also down 7.7 percent from the $445.9 million wagered in the year-ago period.

Foxwoods, required to pay 25 percent of its slot revenue to Connecticut, contributed $8.5 million to the state's general fund last month.

The casino's slot revenue in February was $3 million higher than the $31 million it recorded in January, which was Foxwoods' worst month in decades, according to The Day.

Meantime, just 11 miles Northwest, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) said it recorded $43.5 million last month in slot revenue, down about 7.1 percent vs. the $46.9 million notched in the same period a year earlier.

Mohegan's handle in February was $535.8 million, down about 6.6 percent from the $573.9 million netted a year ago.

It contributed $10.8 million to the state last month.

Following Friday's report, the casinos have now posted lower monthly slot revenues since July, which gaming officials say is the result of a growing casino market in the Northeast -- including the launch of MGM Springfield -- taking away a portion of revenues.

While Foxwoods and Mohegan officials say MGM has been taking away less gaming and entertainment revenues than expected, local casino operators are still aggressively pressing federal and state officials to allow them to revise long-standing gaming compacts with the state so they can begin building the state's first off-reservation casino in East Windsor.

Casino officials say the proposed $300 million casino and entertainment complex is shovel ready whenever lawmakers greenlight the development, now known as Tribal Winds Casino. The idea is that building a casino in Greater Hartford will help the tribal operators take back some slot revenues poached by MGM in recent months.