The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation owns and operates the Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Connecticut. Photo: Foxwoods

Tribes see another decline in slot machine revenues in Connecticut

The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and the Mohegan Tribe continue to see declines in slot machine revenues at their casinos in Connecticut.

Slot revenues at the Pequot-owned Foxwoods Resort Casino were down 10.6 percent in October, when compared to a year prior. Meanwhile, slot revenues at Mohegan Sun were down 10.5 percent.

The declines reflect the growing competition for gaming dollars in New England. A $900 million commercial casino opened in neighboring Massachusetts in late August, a development that the tribes had hoped to counteract by opening a new facility of their own.

But the Trump administration, for reasons that haven't been completely explained, has refused to sign off on both tribes' updated gaming agreements. Only after the tribes went to court did the Bureau of Indian Affairs publish notice of the Mohegan Tribe's agreement in the Federal Register, about 9 months later than required by federal law.

The Pequot Tribe's agreement, however, remains in limbo. The issue remains in litigation in federal court and has been the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Office of Inspector General at the Department of the Interior.

The probe began in April but no results have been released publicly. Some news outlets have speculated that the Inspector General has referred the matter to the Department of Justice for a possible criminal inquiry.

Neither the Inspector General, nor the Department of Justice, however, have commented on the reports, which speculated that Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke might be a target of the inquiry.

The owner of the new casino in Massachusetts is MGM Resorts International. The firm has lobbied the Zinke in hopes of derailing the tribal project.

Read More on the Story
Conn. Casinos Report Drop In Revenue (WSHU November 15, 2018)
Mohegan Sun, Foxwoods each report slots revenue down 10% (The Norwich Bulletin November 15, 2018)
CT casino revenues continue to fall (Hartford Business November 15, 2018)
Revenues dip at MGM's Massachusetts casino in 2nd month open (The Associated Press November 15, 2018)
With MGM Springfield open, Connecticut slot revenues down 10 percent in October (The Springfield Republican November 15, 2018)
Foxwoods' slots revenue down 10 percent in October (The New London Day November 13, 2018)
Report: CT casinos generate $3.7B economic impact in ‘16 (Hartford Business November 13, 2018)

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