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Analysts: More growth expected for New England

24 September 2007

CONNECTICUT -- As reported by the Connecticut Day: "How big is New England's appetite for gambling? Potentially huge.

"For years there has been talk that competition was coming for Foxwoods Resort and Mohegan Sun casinos, which have had a duopoly on Las Vegas-style gambling in the Northeast for more than 11 years. Executives at the two casinos have talked about it, planned for it, and now say they are ready, even welcoming, of new players and jurisdictions.

"...Today, Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are among the largest casinos in the world. On average, 35,000 plus customers visit each of the two resort destinations every day of the year. And combined, they currently gross $2.5 billion annually, just in gaming revenues.

"Industry insiders believe the New England market alone could grow to $4 billion to $5 billion as more casino resorts open.

"Even with more than a decade each in the business — Foxwoods opened in 1992 and Mohegan Sun in 1996 — they are still relatively babes in the industry. Atlantic City has had legalized gambling since 1976, and it's market today, with similar demographics, is about $5.2 billion.

"In mature gaming markets, participating rates average about 45 percent, according to Mr. Morowitz of Morowitz Gaming Advisors. That means with 25 million adults in the greater New England area, statistically 11.3 million of them will eventually wager at casinos. And on average, the analysts estimate they will spend about $800 annually doing so.

"That is why casino operators are bullish about competition in New England. They believe there is room for growth for gaming in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania..."

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