Mohegan Sun casinos, citing cost-cutting, greater use of table games, posts 4Q rise in profit

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UNCASVILLE, Connecticut — Fourth-quarter revenue rose slightly at the Mohegan Sun casinos as profit jumped 86 percent due to cost-cutting and rising popularity of table games, their parent company said Thursday.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates casinos in Uncasville, Connecticut, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, reported revenue of $339.4 million for the quarter that ended Sept. 30, up slightly from $336.9 million in the same quarter in 2014. Net income of $36.5 million was up from $19.6 million.

Bobby Soper, president of the authority, said the casino and entertainment business is finally emerging from the devastating impact of the recession and weak recovery. Consumer confidence has not returned to pre-recession levels, but it's "much stronger" than in the past, he said.

"We see stabilization so that previous years' declines have turned into a more stable environment," Soper told analysts on a conference call.

Table game revenue was partially offset by lower slot revenue, driven by a decline in the volume of slot activity. Slot revenue of $207 million in the fourth quarter was down 1.2 percent from the same period last year. Table game revenue of $87.4 million rose 2.3 percent.

The authority also announced a credit agreement with UBS AG in London allowing it to raise as much as $200 million, to be used primarily to refinance higher-priced debt.

The Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and its rival, Foxwoods Resort Casino, are looking to operate a joint venture to blunt competition from nearby Springfield, Massachusetts, and protect jobs at the two eastern Connecticut casinos.

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