Posted: Jan 30, 2021 01:02 am.
Last update on: January 29, 2021, 11:58 am.
Foxwoods Resort Casino paid more than $ 700,000 out of pocket to meet its gaming revenue sharing obligation with the state of Connecticut.
Guests are Foxwoods Resort Casino walking the field on June 1, 2020. Connecticut Tribal Casino made far fewer dollars on its slot machines at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Image: Greenwich Time)
According to the state gaming compact of the Mashantucket Pequot Indian Tribe, Foxwoods has to share 25 percent of its revenue from slot machines with the state. The minimum payment is $ 80 million per fiscal year.
For the six months of fiscal 2021, which began July 1, Foxwoods' gross gaming revenue (GGR) from its slot machines was $ 157.13 million. The 25 percent tax liability on this number is $ 39,283,234.
The tribe's Memorandum of Understanding mandates that the minimum amount Foxwoods Casino can deliver to the state every six months is $ 40 million, half of the minimum annual gambling stake. The daily reports that the Mashantucket tribe made the difference – $ 716,766.
Mohegan Sun, owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribe, is bound by identical gaming compact terms. Mohegan Sun contributed $ 57.5 million for a more robust slot game at its casino during the six month period.
The slot revenue continues to decline
Long gone are the days when Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods held the New England monopoly on casino gambling. Today there are casinos in neighboring Massachusetts, Rhode Island and upstate New York.
With nearer options, New Englanders don't travel to Connecticut's two tribal casinos in the bulk they once had. Slot revenue and the state cut have declined as a result.
2006 was Connecticut's best year in terms of gaming tax revenue. The government raised approximately $ 433.6 million in slot machine money. In 2020, that number dropped to $ 164.2 million.
Even before the pandemic, Connecticut was receiving far fewer slot dollars than before. The state raised $ 245.4 million in 2019.
Status taking into account the game expansion
Despite the difficulties in 2020, executives at the two Connecticut casinos are optimistic that business will return once the coronavirus is better contained and the vaccine is adequately distributed.
"Looking ahead to the virus, we remain positive as our business has been optimized to take advantage of what we expect in the coming months and years as significant back-up demand for recreational consumption," Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment (MGE) said in a filing at the SEC.
Along with returning visitors, the tribes could see revenue improving through increased gambling. Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont (D) spoke out in December for allowing the tribes to practice sports betting and online casino gambling.
It feels like the stars are aligning, ”said Rodney Butler, chairman of Mashantucket Pequot.
In December, the trunks folded together at their planned satellite casino in East Windsor. The gaming project was designed to prevent Connecticut residents in the central and western parts of the state from traveling across the border to the MGM Resorts $ 960 million casino in Springfield.
Instead of East Windsor, the tribes and lawmakers are now focusing on sports betting and online gaming, two things Massachusetts doesn't have.