One if by land, two if by… oops they are already here

Paul Revere’s ride.

Next week there will be a gathering of gaming industry executives and outside legal and economic experts in Connecticut; it will be the first annual New England Gaming Summit.  The casino operators in the five states in the region with casinos think it is time they started to think strategically and collectively.  They are wondering just where the evolution of gaming in and around their region is going and how to profit or at least meet the challenges of the changes.  The same day of the announcement for the conference, Mohegan Sun held a news conference and announced it was laying off about 5 percent of its workforce, that follows a decrease in the work force of 10 percent by attrition over the last year.  Revenues at both Connecticut casinos have been declining steadily hit by the recession and the expansion of gaming in their feeder markets in New England. New York is the one state in the region that has yet to feel much competitive pressure, but I am guessing a casino in New York City – and the final approval for the contract also came today – will put additional pressure on everyone in the region, including other parts of New York.

The varied speakers at the conference will certainly cover many issues, cost controls, improving data base marketing, diversification of product – like retail, expanded entertainment, sports, naked dancing girls, night clubs and swimming pools for the hip – and market diversification – moving into other markets to build additional casinos.  Those strategies we will hear a lot about in the coming years as more and more individual operators and jurisdictions realize that economy is not the problem – competition is the problem; New England has not reached a saturation point, that some jurisdictions have, but it has too much competition to ever again father another phenomenon like Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun; remember when  Connecticut was like Macau is today and growing at an unbelievable rate, the two largest casinos in the world and just the two of them running down Atlantic City for second place over all on the big gaming score board?  Just like today Macau is or has already run down Vegas for first place. Now Connecticut looks much like Atlantic City too much product, too much debt and too much competition.

I wish them the best of luck in finding successful strategies to cope with today’s challenging environment, but Paul Revere can put his horse back in the barn – the British have already landed and they are everywhere – no notice necessary, just look out the window.


1 Response to “One if by land, two if by… oops they are already here”

  1. 1 Lynne Rosner September 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I like reading your blogs. I live on the Westchester New York border now and the local online paper has nothing about this yet. You think they would as they have written reams about Yonkers Empire City and Racetrack which is Westchester’s racino. The Aquaduct racino will be a financial blow to them I think.
    You have broken news so many times on this site. Its better than reading the paper here, that’s for sure.

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