Connecticut’s casinos posted mixed returns for their slot revenue totals in July, with Mohegan Sun scoring a profit and Foxwoods Resort Casino recording a decline.
Mohegan Sun, which is owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribal Nation, announced July slot revenues of $47.5 million, a 1.7% increase over the $46.7 million recorded in July 2019. The sports betting handle was $549 million, a drop from the $570 million recorded one year earlier.
Foxwoods, which is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, announced July slot revenues of $30.5 million, a 19.8% decrease from the $38 million recorded one year earlier. The casino’s handle was $357 million, a fall from the $479 million recorded one year earlier. The numbers are posted on the website of the state Department of Consumer Protection.
The casinos are required to channel 25% of slot revenues into Connecticut’s General Fund. Mohegan Sun Foxwoods said it paid $11.9 million to the state last month while Foxwoods provided about $7.6 million.
The casinos reopened for business in June. Foxwoods has postponed all concerts scheduled for September, while Mohegan Sun said it would be laying off an unspecified number of employees. July’s numbers show Mohegan Sun with 61% of the Connecticut slots market to Foxwoods’ 39%.
Jeff Hamilton, Mohegan Sun’s president and general manager, said Saturday his casino’s performance in July reflected its ability to “create a safe, clean environment” and successfully market that environment, The Day reports. Also, he acknowledged that the current competitive landscape favors Mohegan Sun over Foxwoods.
Foxwoods announced its July slots revenue in a news release Saturday in which it touted its safety measures, “including temperature checks, mandatory face masks, (Plexiglas) installations and 24/7 sanitization of the property.” The casino recently announced it could safely reopen its HighFlyer Zipline, Cedar’s Steak & Oysters restaurant and Hard Rock Café.
“COVID-19’s impact continues to be felt by most industries and gaming venues, but we are encouraged by guest response and traffic, and we feel our calculated and thoughtful approach in reopening Foxwoods in phases is the right move,” said Jason Guyot, the casino’s interim Chief Executive Officer. “We have been doubling down on safety — that is the main focus — and we’re pleased that guests see Foxwoods as a secure, welcoming environment where they can stay, shop, game, and dine, all in a resort perfectly sized to allow for social distancing.”
In the release, Rodney Butler, chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, made a push for state authorization of sports betting and online gaming. “As our local economy continues to rebuild, we must aggressively consider other ways to stabilize our great state and reconsider going all in on legalizing sports betting and modernizing online gaming in Connecticut,” he said. “Since 2018, authorized neighboring states around the region have collectively generated just under $100 million in tax revenue for their respective regions, and we believe $80 million can be generated from sports betting, internet gaming, iKeno and iLottery in Connecticut.”