Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods – two tribal casinos in Connecticut have reported a huge gross gaming revenue (GGR) picked from their slot machines in June 2020. This report comes a month after the casinos sprung back in operation post the coronavirus pandemic-induced closure.
On 17th March, the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation had jointly agreed to close their casino resorts to stop the pandemic from spreading. Because the casinos are based on sovereign land, they are not subject to state orders. This is why both of them reopened on 1st June, opposing the suggestion of Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D).
Of course, safety protocols were put in place and social distancing measures taken, opening the Native American casinos in limited capacities of only 25%. Face masks were made mandatory for guests and team members alike. Additionally, non-invasive temperature checks were carried out before letting anyone enter the premises.
Despite the limited operations, the decision proved to be profitable for the tribes as strong growth in revenues was reported soon. The GGR from slots went up to over $45.5 million at Mohegan Sun and $33.6 million at Foxwoods. For the latter, the year-over-year decrease was only 3% and 4.9% for the latter compared to the figures in June 2019.
Moreover, Connecticut has issued a regional travel advisory, according to which any person travelling into the state from specific areas must go into self-quarantine for 14 days. The list of areas currently includes 22 states. Also, Foxwoods casino has restricted the entry of visitors from those states.
Mario Kontomerkos, the CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment said that people have been locked up for quite some time and are looking for a respite. But, they are uncertain about where to go and be safe. With the casino reopening, they now know about facilities where they can enjoy without major safety issues.
It is worth noting that both tribes share a slot revenue of 25% with the Government of Connecticut. In June 2020, Mohegan Sun fetched the state over $11.3 million in revenue. Foxwoods, on the other hand, delivered $8.4 million. Also, the two brands have restored the jobs of thousands of workers who were forced to go on furlough.