CT Casinos Felt The Pinch From New Area Competitors In October

With Massachusetts’ MGM Springfield and Rhode Island’s Twin River Tiverton in their infancy, and Encore Boston Harbor slated to open in June, it’s too early to tell how the New England casino market will shake out.

That said, the October revenue numbers from across the region have some tales to tell.

Of particular interest is the performance of the two new properties and their impact on the region’s existing casinos.

Both new properties saw revenues decline (which should be expected following much ballyhooed grand openings) from September to October, but both are holding their own in the increasingly crowded market.

Cannibalization is real

October saw last month’s cannibalization once again on full display.

In their first full month, MGM Springfield and Twin River Tiverton cannibalized competitors in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, but that cannibalization didn’t cross the border into Maine.

September 2018 year-over-year revenue changes:

  • Mohegan Sun Casino, CT: -8.9 percent
  • Foxwoods Casino, CT: – 5.0 percent
  • Twin River Lincoln, RI: -4.4 percent
  • Plainridge Park Casino, MA: -4.0 percent
  • Oxford Casino, ME: +7.6 percent
  • Hollywood Casino, ME: -2.6 percent

This month was similar, but it was the Connecticut casinos that took the brunt of the cannibalization right on the chin:

  • Mohegan Sun Casino, CT: -10.7 percent
  • Foxwoods Casino, CT: – 10.0 percent
  • Twin River Lincoln, RI: -4.0 percent
  • Plainridge Park Casino, MA: -0.3 percent
  • Oxford Casino, ME: +3.3 percent
  • Hollywood Casino, ME: -10.6 percent

That said, the new/relocated casinos are growing the overall market, producing enough revenue to more than offset any same-store, year-over-year declines.

Bottom line: the two new properties are good for the overall New England casino market, but not so good for some of the established casinos.

A closer look at this month’s slot revenue

New England’s slot revenue in October 2018:

  • Mohegan Sun Casino, CT: $42,588,500
  • Foxwoods Casino, CT: $34,449,400
  • Twin River Lincoln, RI: $33,669,300
  • MGM Springfield, MA: $14,623,800
  • Plainridge Park Casino, MA: $13,525,800
  • Twin River Tiverton, RI: $7,573,6700
  • Oxford Casino, ME: $6,043,800
  • Hollywood Casino, ME: $3,393,800

Here’s how each facility stacks up:

 # Table Games# of Poker Tables
MGM Springfield12023
Plainridge ParkN/AN/A
Foxwoods250100
Mohegan Sun30042
Twin River Lincoln10022
Twin River Tiverton32+18 Stadium GamesN/A
Hollywood Casino184
Oxford Casino28N/A

A closer look at this month’s table game revenue

Table game revenue in October 2018:

  • Twin River Lincoln, RI: $ 10,784,876
  • Twin River Tiverton, RI: $ 1,696,431
  • MGM Springfield, MA: $7,618,950
  • Oxford Casino, ME: $1,274,570
  • Hollywood Casino, ME: $584,402

Here’s how each facility stacks up:

 # Table Games# of Poker Tables
MGM Springfield12023
Plainridge ParkN/AN/A
Foxwoods250100
Mohegan Sun30042
Twin River Lincoln10022
Twin River Tiverton32+18 Stadium GamesN/A
Hollywood Casino184
Oxford Casino28N/A

State-by-state casino revenue breakdown

Massachusetts

All things considered, Plainridge’s revenue holding steady year over year has to be viewed as a win for the property. The slight decline last month and the flat revenue tally this month could be a sign that the Penn National racino, tucked away in southern MA, has a loyal customer base and won’t fall victim to its newer, larger and glitzier peers.

The most interesting data point at MGM is that more than a third of all gaming revenue (34 percent) at MGM Springfield is being generated in the pits.

Table game revenue data isn’t available for Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun, but MGM Springfield’s table games/slot breakdown is easily the best of the remaining casinos:

  • Twin River Lincoln: 24 percent
  • Twin River Tiverton: 18 percent
  • Oxford Casino: 18 percent
  • Hollywood Casino: 15 percent

Connecticut

Last month I wrote, “Connecticut’s two tribal casinos have long feared the opening of MGM Springfield, and if September is a harbinger of things to come, they were right to be concerned.”

Add in October’s numbers and the panic button might need to be pressed already.

Both properties saw slot revenue fall by 10 percent in October, compared to 5 and 9 percent drops in September.

The most alarming piece of that puzzle is revenue at MGM Springfield and Twin River Tiverton was higher in September than in October.

The two tribal casinos were likely hoping the customers who went to the new casinos with curiosity would then come back home. Instead, it looks like more of their customers are going elsewhere.

Rhode Island

A new hotel in Lincoln and a much better location in Tiverton is helping Rhode Island’s two casinos — both of which are owned and operated by Twin River.

Furthermore, the launch of a sportsbook at each property, the second of which opened today, will bring in a new stream of revenue and should increase foot traffic at the property.

At the end of the day, while Massachusetts and Connecticut have been engaged in a contentious border war, Rhode Island has quietly made some strategic moves that have nicely set the state up for gaming success.

Maine

It’s safe to say that Maine‘s casinos are far enough away from the fray that they will remain unaffected by the goings on in southern New England.

Revenue fell at Hollywood Casino, but the decline is within normal, expected variance for a casino of its size.

Steve Ruddock

About

Steve Ruddock is an avid poker player and a veteran member of the gaming media. His primary focus is on the regulated US online casino and poker markets. He writes for numerous online and print publications, including OnlinePokerReport.com, USPoker.com, and USA Today.