The Norwich Bulletin provides a quick guide to the current casino environment here in the northeastern U.S…
Visitors to Foxwoods Resort Casino played $169 million less in its slot machines during the last 12 months than they did the previous year.
Gamblers pumped $9.2 billion into slot machines at Foxwoods during the 2006-07 fiscal year, which ended June 30. It was the second year of declines for the casino and was $685 million below the casino’s all-time high of $9.917 billion, which it hit in the 2001-02 fiscal year.
Gary Border, senior vice president of property marketing at Foxwoods, said part of the dip can be attributed to increased competition in the region from facilities in New York and Rhode Island….
Mohegan Sun ended the fiscal year up $166 million from 2005-06, with visitors having played $10.6 billion in its slot machines in the last 12 months….[Mitchell Etess, president and chief officer at Mohegan Sun,] said changes at other such gaming sites at Atlantic City, N.J., have affected visitor numbers, adding pressure on the market from the south…
Both Connecticut casinos will complete massive expansions within the next two years. Clyde Barrow, a University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth professor and gaming industry expert, said gambling traffic also dipped at Twin River in Lincoln, R.I., during its recent expansion but agreed the MGM Grand opening will bring visitors back to Foxwoods.
With both of the big Connecticut casinos expanding, plus the possibility of a new casino being built in southeastern Massachusetts, making any sort of plans that depend on increased gambling revenues to shore up state finances would be a very bad idea right now.