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Mohegan Sun down

February 19. 2013 7:45PM
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UNCASVILLE, Conn. – The parent company of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut said Thursday profit in its fourth quarter declined 68.3 percent due to increased competition, higher interest costs and $12.5 million in severance charges related to 330 layoffs at the Connecticut casino.

The results would have been worse had not Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs increased operating income by 17.5 percent in the quarter, while the Connecticut flagship's income fell 13.1 percent.

While the larger casino's gambling revenue fell 8.5 percent, the Plains Township casino/racetrack saw only a 1.4 percent decrease.

In an effort to turn around the Connecticut operations, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority in October moved Bobby Soper, former president of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, to the top position at the larger casino.

In the earnings report, tribal gaming authority CEO Mitchell Grossinger Etess said additional expense cuts were planned in Connecticut, but, We remain pleased with the performance of Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs …

Mike Bean, who took over for Soper at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, said employment there is stable: We have roughly 1,700 employees for the gambling facilities, race track and casino-owned restaurants. He expects to hire another 200 to 300 with the opening of a hotel by the end of 2013.

Facing heavy competition for the New York gambling market since video slot machines were installed a year ago at Aqueduct race track in Queens, Mohegan Sun has reduced slot machines by 6.5 percent, to 5,897, and table games by 3.8 percent, to 303. The numbers at the Plains Township casino, while smaller at 2,331 slots and 66 tables, haven't budged.

Non-gaming revenues, mainly food and beverage and entertainment, also fell faster in Connecticut than at Pocono Downs; down 7 percent and 1.2 percent respectively.

For the full year ended Sept. 30, both revenue and operating income rose at the Plains Township casino and fell in Connecticut.

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