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Mohegan Sun's 2nd quarter revenue fell, profit soared on table game popularity, lower expenses


HARTFORD, Connecticut — The parent company of the Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania reported a strong second quarter Tuesday, as revenue dropped only slightly while profit jumped 56 percent on increased table game popularity and reduced expenses since Mohegan Sun no longer is seeking a Massachusetts casino license after being rebuffed.

Mohegan Sun lost its bid for a license for a more than $1 billion resort casino at Suffolk Downs near Boston. It also lost a vote to build a casino in Palmer, Massachusetts.

The tribal authority reported revenue of $310.4 million for the quarter ending March 31, down 2 percent from the year-ago period. Profit of $15 million was up 56.2 percent from the 2014 second quarter.

"We've proven that we can market effectively without chasing business and this is clearly visible on the bottom line," Chief Executive Officer Mitchell Etess told investor analysts on a conference call.

An agreement between the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority and Inchon International Airport Corp. in South Korea will build a casino-entertainment complex that will "catapult the Inchon area into the top entertainment destination in northern Asia," he said. The project calls for developing 800 acres adjacent to the airport over 20 years at a cost of at least $5 billion, he said.

The two sides are partnering in building a resort that would include a 1,000-bedroom hotel, a casino with 250 tables and 1,500 slot machines, a 20,000-seat arena, an outdoor amusement park and other entertainment.

"You can get off your plane and walk right to the front desk," Etess said.

Mohegan Sun and its rival, eastern Connecticut neighbor Foxwoods Resort Casino, are proposing a joint venture in Connecticut to compete with new casinos planned for Massachusetts. A bill in the state legislature authorizes up to three jointly operated and owned tribal casinos that would be smaller and have fewer amenities than the casinos now operating.

The legislation also says the location of any of those facilities would be subject to approval by the "legislative body" of the host town and only after the community holds a public hearing.

Robert Soper, president of the tribal gaming authority, said if the bill fails this year, "I doubt we would just sit still and not push in subsequent sessions." The 2015 session of the legislature ends June 3 and the next annual session is set to begin in February 2016.

If approved this year, a new Connecticut casino could be operating by 2017, tribal officials said.

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