Connecticut casinos see revenue dip amid MGM competition
MASHANTUCKET — The Foxwoods Resort Casino is reporting a 10 percent decline in slot-machine revenue for October as it feels effects of competition including the new MGM Springfield casino across the state line in western Massachusetts.
The $34.4 million it kept in slots revenue after paying out prizes is 10 percent less than the amount it kept in October 2017, The Day of New London reported . That followed a 5 percent decline in September slots revenue. Mohegan Sun has not yet reported figures for October, but it had a decline of nearly 9 percent in September slots revenue.
The tribes that operate the two giant casinos in southeast Connecticut have been seeking for years to open a jointly run casino in the northern part of the state to stave off competition from the MGM site, which opened in August.
Foxwoods, which is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, said it had been bracing for a decline.
“With MGM Springfield in its first few months of operation, not only did we expect to see an impact, we’ve also consistently and publicly communicated our expectations over the last three years while proactively working toward mitigating any potential loss in revenue,” the casino said in a written statement provided by spokesman Adam Jalbert. “We are pleased to say that, despite the temporary decline in October, our business volume and gaming activity still continues to exceed our expectations.”
Foxwoods enjoyed a monopoly on casino-style gambling in the region for years after it opened in 1992. That was before the Great Recession introduced a decline in gambling revenue that has accelerated with the introduction of new casinos in neighboring states.
MGM Springfield was expected to carve into the business for Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun because the properties are similar in quality and scope of offerings, according to Joseph Weinert of the Spectrum Gaming Group, a Pennsylvania-based consulting firm.
“The New England marketplace has become very competitive,” he said. “We believe the Connecticut casinos will continue to be powerhouses in the casino industry. They just won’t be able to attain their previous revenue peaks.”