The Mohegan Tribe owns and operates Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. Photo by Indianz.Com (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Tribes see decline in slot machine revenues as they await new arrival

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe both saw declines in slot machine revenues for the month of July 2018.

Slot revenue at Mashantucket-owned Foxwoods Resort Casino totaled $42.8 million, according to a press release. That represents a 4.9 percent drop from July 2017.

The Mohegan Sun fared at little better. Slot revenue was $55 million, down 1.5 percent from a year prior.

The July 2018 revenues represent a milestone, though not one the tribes are looking to celebrate. A non-Indian competitor is opening a huge casino in neighboring Massachusetts on August 24.

MGM Springfield is more than 70 miles from southeastern Connecticut, where the two tribal casinos are located. But it could draw patrons away from Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun because it's closer to major cities in both states.

Aware of the competition, the tribes secured state approval to open a third casino in East Windsor, less than 15 minutes from Springfield. But the Trump administration has refused to sign off on the project despite facing pressure from politicians and Indian Country.

Following months of inaction, the Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the Mohegan Tribe's Class III gaming compact in June. But the agency has kept the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation's agreement in limbo and claims it can do so indefinitely.

A lawsuit in federal court aims to force a decision. Treating the Mashantuckets differently than the Mohegans would result in a "a nullity, a mere charade," attorneys for the Pequot Tribe wrote in a brief filed on Tuesday, pointing to another Indian gaming case in which the federal government appeared to advance that same argument.

A federal judge has asked the Trump administration to respond to the tribe's brief. The due date, ironically, is August 24.

"In 9 days, this full house is all yours," MGM Springfield wrote in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.

Read More on the Story
Casinos' slots revenue declined in July (The New London Day August 15, 2018)
Mohegan slot revenues down slightly in July (Hartford Business August 15, 2018)
Mohegan tribe adds new senior-exec positions (Hartford Business August 14, 2018)
With MGM Springfield Smoke-Free, Connecticut Tribal Leaders Ponder Policy for East Windsor Casino (Casino.Org August 14, 2018)
‘Aggressive & laid-back,’ Stony Creek Brewery opens location at Foxwoods (The Connecticut Post August 14, 2018)

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