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Cheap Gas and Less Snow Help Conn. Casinos Bounce Back

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Two Indian casinos in Connecticut that struggled for most of 2014 are finally bouncing back. The Mohegan Sun and Foxwood Resort Casino posted increases in wagers in December, The Associated Press reported.

Foxwoods, owned by the Mashantucket Pequots Tribal Nation, reported a slot revenue of $36 million for December, down 4 percent from December 2013 (but up from November 2014). And the Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, reported slot revenue of $49 million for December, up 7 percent from $46 million in the same month a year earlier.

Bobby Soper, CEO of Mohegan Sun Casino Resort, told The Hartford Courantthat lower oil and gas prices related to the revenue bump at his casino. "We do think that the fact that oil and gas prices have declined so much has allowed people to keep more for discretionary income, which benefits us as well," Soper said. He also said that bad weather in December 2013, a factor in lower revenue gains, was not as large a factor in December 2014.

The Bulletin also reported that rising competition from casinos in Rhode Island and New York, as well as a decline in consumer spending could have been factors in last year’s lagging revenue.

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Both casinos contribute a percentage of their revenue to Connecticut’s Special Revenue Fund. Foxwoods contributed $9 million, and Mohegan Sun contribution $12 million to the state fund in December.