Sunday, May 17, 2009


April slots still down, but better than March
By No.: (860) 701 - 4354 Other Recent Articles Mohegans Seek Niche, Won\'t Tout Slots - 5/17/2009Brian Hallenbeck
Published on 5/16/2009

Executives at Connecticut's tribally owned casinos said Friday that the size of the year-over-year declines in their April slot-machine winnings suggested things are looking up.

Foxwoods Resort Casino and MGM Grand at Foxwoods won $57.5 million at 7,600 machines last month, eight-tenths of a percent less than Foxwoods alone won in April 2008. MGM Grand opened last May. The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority reported that Mohegan Sun won $64.3 million at nearly 6,800 machines last month, an 8.4 percent decline over the previous April.

”I am thrilled with our recent results, and proud to see that the enhancements and additional amenities we have added to our property are resonating with our customers,” Michael Speller, president of Mashantucket Pequot Gaming Enterprises, which operates the Foxwoods casinos, said in a statement.

Foxwoods, which had reported slight year-over-year increases in its slots win during February and March, recently added 24 table games to its Great Cedar Casino as well as 115,000 square feet of meeting space.

Although Mohegan Sun's April win was less than the previous month's win of $65.6 million, the year-over-year decline for April was significantly better than March's 14.6 percent decline.
”Obviously, we're glad the decrease was less than last month's, but I think it's premature to say the worst is over,” Mitchell Etess, president and chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun, said. “No doubt we're still seeing the same trends that have been affecting the entire industry. But it's a good sign.”

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes, which forward 25 percent of their slot revenues to the state

Division of Special Revenue, made April payments of $16.1 million and $14.4 million, respectively.

Data the casinos filed with the state indicate lower-denomination slots were particularly popular among patrons. More than 40 percent of Mohegan Sun's take - nearly $26 million - was won on penny slot machines. The casino won another $624,000 on half-penny machines and $181,000 on quarter-penny machines, denominations it introduced earlier this year. Foxwoods won $17.1 million on penny slots, more than on machines of any other denomination, which range as high as $100.

”That's been a trend throughout the whole industry, where the lower-denomination slots generate more and more of the win,” Etess said. “Whether it's economy-driven, I'm not sure. It's a way for people to get more time at play.

”The trend started before the economy went south, but that may have speeded it up.”
The April data show that Mohegan Sun won, on average, $316.88 a day on each of its machines, while the comparable figure for the Foxwoods casinos was $252.13.

EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE; Congradulations to Foxwoods, a job well done. Foxwoods was down -0.8% (less than 1%), and the Mohegan Sun was down -8.4% (ten times the loss of Foxwoods), comparing April 2009 with April, 2008.

Etess are you kidding us? We (the Mohegan Tribe) can not continue to lose money like this month after month year after year. What is the MTGA (the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, the Mohegan Tribal Council) doing about these continuing losses?

Some tribal members, are saying not much or not enough. If these people can't get the job done, maybe it's time for new people? Should they go? What do you think?

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