Conn sees $$$ between rain

May 20, 2003 12:37 AM

FROM GT STAFF / WIRE REPORTS

Imagine if the weather last month was good in Connecticut.

The rain along with worries about world affairs and the economy proved unfounded for both Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun. The two state casino resorts each won more than $63 million from their customers in April.

"We’re really happy with our results," Mitchell Etess, executive vice president for marketing at Mohegan Sun, told TheDay.com.

Slot wins grew by 9.3 percent at Mohegan Sun over the previous April and each of the 6,101 machines brought in an average of $348.50 per day. It was the second time Mohegan Sun beat Foxwoods in win since its expansion opened at the end of 2001.

Foxwoods saw its slot revenue drop 2.8 percent over the past year, but business remained good, according to Bill Sherlock, the resort’s chief executive officer and president.

Sands takes hit

Atlantic City’s Sands Casino Hotel lost $4.4 million last quarter, continuing a downward spiral in its operations.

The Sands, an independent casino controlled by Carl Icahn, has lost $14 million in the last year, according to The Press of Atlantic City. Cash-flow declines of between 34 percent and 95 percent were reported in each quarter.

The hotel blamed most of the declines on the lingering effects of past management. It said the decision last spring to eliminate most table games in favor of slots caused a 57 percent decline in table revenue.

February snowstorms were also blamed for the decline.

Pataki backs Mohawks

New York Gov. George Pataki came to an agreement with the St. Regis Mohawks on a compact that could finally clear the way for the first of three authorized casinos in the Catskill region.

"Everybody wins with this memorandum," said Ray Cook, spokesman for the St. Regis Mohawks. "It all came together at one time for us. It’s good timing."

Democratic Senator Charles Schumer also announced his support for the memorandum, which still requires a host of approvals from the federal government, the state legislature and the tribe.

A report in Indian Country Today stated that opposition is relatively moderate and that it’s a good time to negotiate with the state.

Illinois divided on gaming

Even after more than a decade of casino gambling in Illinois state residents are divided about the situation.

The Star Newspapers poll shows that 51 percent support gaming as a way for the state government to make money. Just over 40 percent were opposed and 8 percent weren’t sure.

"That doesn’t surprise me," Gov. Rod Blagojevich said. "In our budget, there is not an expansion of gambling."