Oldest And Newest Massauchesetts Casinos Struggle in Q3

The newest and oldest casinos in Massachusetts struggled to make a buck in October, while in six months the estate of MGM Resorts had its best showing.

Figures released Friday by the Massachusetts Gaming Commission revealed the $21.2 m gaming revenue generated by the MGM Springfield casino in October, around $1 m short of the result of October 2018 but the best showing of the property since May 2019. The decrease of $1 m was entirely due to table games from MGM, as revenue from slots reported a mild bump.

Since its opening in late June, Wynn Resorts’ Encore Boston Harbor has claimed the lion’s share of the state’s table game action, but the property had its worst table to date at $23.5 m, down by $3.5 m from September. The fall refused the best slots of Encore showing up to date ($22.3 m), leaving overall gaming revenue around $3.1 m below the estimate of September.

At Plainridge Park Casino, the slot-only facility owned by Penn National Gaming (PNG), things were even bleaker. Plainridge’s gaming revenue amounted to just $11.25 million, around $300k less than the month before, and almost $2.3 million less than it received in October 2018. It is the lowest total of the full month since the property was opened in June 2015.

The effect of Wynn’s heavy promotional spending” on bringing Encore to Massachusetts gamblers had an undeniable impact on the attendance of Plainridge and was blamed for failing to meet its Q3 earnings target. PNG execs said they expected the worst-case top-line impact from Encore’s opening on Plainridge would be in the “low-teen percentage” but admitted last month that “it was closer to 20 percent.” Speaking of poaching customers, MGM Springfield was expected to siphon off gamblers from the two tribal casinos of neighbouring Connecticut, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. And sure enough, since the opening of MGM Springfield in mid-2018, slot revenue at both sites in Connecticut had been on a downward trajectory.

Mohegan Sun posted $43.7 m in slots sales in October on Friday, up 2.6 percent from last year’s same month. Foxwoods announced a smaller gain on slots ($34.4 m) and a smaller increase year-on-year (0.4%).

Both properties also reported falling slots handle, with Mohegan Sun falling 3.3% to $528.4 m, while Foxwoods dropping 1.4% to $430 m. Neither venue shares their table game figures, as their compact gaming with the state requires them to remit only a proportion of slots.