Summary: Casinos in Connecticut continue to see poor results when it comes to slot gaming revenues
For most casinos, the slots are the most popular game on the floor. Players both young and old can spend a great deal of time spinning the reels. However, at the casinos in Connecticut, the revenues from slot games continue to be on a decline. Both the Foxwoods Casino and the Mohegan Sun are seeing decreases when it comes to revenues from slots, with experts stating the decline is a result of industry trends in the region.
Competition and Bankroll Problems
Analysts feel that the issue with the slot revenues is due to competition in neighboring states as well as players having less disposable income. Finance Department at Boston College associate professor Rev. Richard McGowan recently spoke with Casino.org, stating that the decline is not surprising. The MGM Springfield was clearly going to be competition and they have hurt the two gaming venues in Connecticut, even though the new venue has not done as well as expected.
The MGM Springfield earned $19.7 million in January which was the smallest amount ever earned for a month period. Players not only have the MGM venue to visit but they can also travel to nearby Rhode Island where sports betting is offered.
Another issue that is at play is the shrinking economy in Connecticut. Within the last decade, the economy has decreased by around 10%. Household incomes are smaller so there is less disposable money. Players have less money they can spend on gaming so player traffic is much lower at the gaming venues.
In the past, the two tribal operated venues relied heavy on players from Connecticut. Anywhere from 70 to 75 percent of revenues generated from slot games were from players living in the state. However, as neighboring states began to launch casino gaming, players were traveling to these venues due to location or the newness of the venue.
Potential plans for gaming venues in Bridgeport and East Windsor will also cause issue in the future, most likely. The Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are planning on launching new casinos in these regions. Once the two new venues are in operation, it will most likely pull away even more traffic from the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun casinos. This will hurt revenues as well.
On top of that, MGM Resorts is trying to open a gaming venue in Bridgeport as well as soon to acquire the Empire Resort in New York. These two venues will be even more competition as MGM improve their operations.
The Mohegan Sun earned $40.7 million in January, which was a 9.4% decrease from January 2017. This was the lowest slot revenues for the casino in almost two decades. Foxwoods earned $31 million, which was an 8.5% drop. The total was actually the lowest monthly revenue numbers for the casino in their 25 years of operation.
While experts say income issues and competition are the problem, the casinos have a different idea. CEO of Foxwoods, Rodney Butler, has said the drop is due to bad weather and Rhode Island casinos now offering sports betting. Only time will tell if the venues will be able to improve and what the actual cause for the drop is.