Gaming revenue at Connecticut’s two casinos has declined in 2019 due to the increased competition from new gaming operations in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Although the operating company of the Mohegan Sun has posted overall gains in the past year, its Connecticut casino has experienced a net revenue drop of 7.2%, while Foxwoods Resort Casino’s net revenue was down 5%.
The new figures were posted in the two companies’ annual reports filed in late December. According to Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment’s annual report, posted on the website of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the net revenues of Mohegan Sun for the fiscal 2018/2019 were $992 million, which is a decline of 7.2 percent from the $1.07 billion it posted in the fiscal year ending in July 2018. The poor performance of the casino was as a result of lower gaming revenues, data reveals. In comparison, the casino saw an increase in its non-gaming revenues, including from entertainment activities and events held at its new Earth Expo & Convention Center.
Along with the casino, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment also owns the Mohegan Sun Golf Club in Baltic, as well as two professional sports teams – the Connecticut Sun of the Women’s National Basketball Association and the New England Black Wolves of the National Lacrosse League. In 2005, the Mohegan Tribe opened its first gaming venue outside Connecticut – the Mohegan Sun Pocono in Plains Township, Pennsylvania.
Net revenues at the racino also dropped 5.5 percent in the same fiscal year, while the company reported gains from its new Canadian venues – the Fallsview Casino Resort, Casino Niagara and the future Niagara Falls Entertainment Centre in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The recently acquired properties generated $112.5 million in 2018-2019.
Foxwoods Resort Casino, operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, reported net revenues of $787.8 million for fiscal 2018/2019. Compared to the $828.9 million it won in the previous year, this is a decline of 5 percent. The annual statistics, published on the website of the Electronic Municipal Market Access system, reveal that the decreasing gaming revenues drive the poorer results of the Foxwoods casino, as well. The casino’s report shows that the revenues were affected by the two new resort casinos in neighboring Massachusetts – MGM Springfield, which opened in August 2018, and Encore Boston Harbor, which opened in June 2019.
Lower Revenues Resulted in Layoffs
The two Connecticut casinos admit they were struggling with “substantial” debts, totaling nearly $2 billion, that added to the pressure. The debt load coupled with the continuing drop in revenues has resulted in layoffs for both casino operators.
In 2018, Mohegan Sun had around 4,810 full-time employees and 2,140 part-time employees. As of September 30, it employed 4,500 full-time workers, as well as 2,000 part-time, seasonal, and on-call employees. None of them were part of a labor union.
In 2018, approximately 5,700 people worked at Foxwoods Casino (both full-time and part-time). By the end of September 2019, more than 550 people lost their jobs as the casino said it employed around 5,144 people. Most employees at Foxwoods are affiliated with a union – more than 1,000 table game dealers are represented, for instance, by Local 2121 of the United Auto Workers. Their contract with the casino expired Tuesday but the operator did not comment on possible negotiations with the union.