Connecticut Casinos Report Substantial Gaming Revenue Declines in Fiscal Year 2020

Posted on: January 6, 2021, 02:12h. 

Last updated on: January 6, 2021, 03:17h.

As expected, the two Native American casinos in Connecticut reported dismal financial years as a consequence of COVID-19.

Connecticut casinos Mohegan Sun Foxwoods
Connecticut’s two casinos ailed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Revenue at Mohegan Sun fell 28 percent, as gamblers stayed away. (Image: Mohegan Sun)

Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, in their fiscal year 2020 reports, revealed just how bad regional travel bans and stay-at-home orders inside the Nutmeg State strained their businesses.

Mohegan Sun, owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe, reported net revenue of $715.67 million. That’s a nearly 28 percent drop from the fiscal year 2019, when the casino generated revenue of $992 million.

Foxwoods fared even worse. The Mashantucket Pequot casino said net revenue totaled $539.2 million, a 31.6 percent year-over-year decline.

Net revenue incudes income from gaming, food and beverage, hotel, retail, entertainment, and management and development services. The income results were disclosed in Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods’ annual filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Their 2020 fiscal years ended September 30.

Connecticut receives 25 percent of the two tribal casinos’ gross gaming revenue derived from slot machines. All table win remains with the tribes, as does other revenue.

Mohegan Optimistic

Casinos across the nation suffered steep losses because of COVID-19.

After years of legal setbacks, the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequots decided last month to officially fold on their joint venture in East Windsor, Connecticut. The long-delayed satellite casino was approved by Connecticut lawmakers in 2017 to prevent critical gaming dollars from flowing north across the Connecticut-Massachusetts border to MGM Springfield.

The tribes said the $200 million-$300 million development is not a viable project at this time. Despite the hardships, Mohegan remains bullish on its future.

Looking beyond the virus, we remain positive, as our business has been optimized to benefit from what we foresee to be significant pent-up demand for leisure consumption in the months and years ahead,” a release from Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) declared.

In addition to Mohegan Sun, MGE owns and/or operates casinos in Pennsylvania, Atlantic City, Canada, Washington, and Louisiana. Net revenue companywide was $1.114 billion, a 20 percent decrease from FY19.

MGE is set to greatly expand its footprint. The company will handle casino operations at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas when it opens this year, and is spending billions of dollars to construct integrated resorts in Incheon, South Korea, and Athens, Greece.

The Mashantucket Pequots only own their Foxwoods Resort Casino.

Employees Cut

The SEC filings also revealed the personnel consequences of COVID-19.

MGE said, as of September 30, its global workforce totaled about 11,000 people, 70 percent being full-time employees. That’s down considerably from the 12,000 staff force the company commanded as of September 30, 2019.

MGE’s median employee is compensated around $25,600 annually. Mohegan Gaming CEO Mario Kontomerkos’ compensation, as reported to the SEC, was $949,299.

Foxwoods is employing approximately 2,500 full- and part-time workers. Prior to the pandemic, the tribal casino employed more than 5,000 workers. Executive compensation was not disclosed in the SEC filing.