New Foxwoods CEO Plans to Reduce the Gaming Machines and Tables in the Casino
Foxwoods is reducing the number of slot machines and table games on its gaming floor to make room for other attractions. The decision to reduce the gaming options on the casino floor is an adaptation to the current gaming trends and beat the stout competition Foxwoods faces.
New Approach for Foxwoods
Such a philosophy was discussed by Felix Rappaport, the CEO of Foxwoods in a recent Associated Press interview. Mr. Rappaport was just voted into his position last week, but he already has a plan to make Foxwoods more competitive in the current environment.
He wants to create a destination for those who like to shop, eat, and dance in nightclubs. Rappaport believes the integrated resort, which appeals to both gamblers and non-gamblers in a family, is the best approach for the Connecticut-based resort.
Less Is More
Rappaport admits this is a move the casino should have made years ago, though sentimental attachements and straightforward logic told Foxwoods to continue with the old approach.
It’s counter-intuitive to think reducing the number of gaming machines and tables is going to help business. But when the casino is cavernous from the lack of customers, something else should be done with the additional space. That space now will be home to other forms of entertainment and various other attractions.
Too Much Gaming
Rappaport put it in stark terms in his AP interview, “We think we have too much gaming.” A certain reduction of tables and machines would still leave a tremendous number of gaming possibilities. At present, Foxwoods has 5,800 slot machines and 350 table games, making it one of the most-stocked land-based casinos in the world.
Up until 2008, such extravagence made sense. Before the 2008-2009 Global Recession, gamblers came to Connecticut in record numbers to gamble. The numbers were 6,300 slot machines and 380 table games in 2008 before the stock market crash. Now, the target goal is 4,800 slot machines and 250 table games.
Saturation of the Market
Foxwoods is likely to face harder times in the near future. After Question 3 passed in Massachusetts, that state is likely to add as many as 3 new casinos in the coming years. Rhode Island just allowed Twin Rivers Casino to add table games. New York state is likely to license 4 casinos in the coming weeks. Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun are already being edged aside, so the casinos will have to become inventive to continue attracting customers. If every casios has slot machines and blackjack tables, then the battle might come down to entertainment and marketing.
Felix Rappaport, who was named CEO of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, expects to add nightclubs, restaurants, and an outlet mall. Previously, Rappaport has worked with Luxor, New York-New York, and Excalibur in Las Vegas. Since February 2014, he has worked for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation.
No Reduction at Mohegan Sun
Mitchell Etess, CEO of the Mohegan Sun Tribal Gaming Authority, said his tribe is not likely to have a similar reduction. Mohegan Sun, a rival casino in the Connecticut tribal gaming industry, has already reduced down to a manageable number. Etess said, “I think we’ve really done a good job at getting the floor down to what’s manageable and what’s right and then scheduling it for the times when the people are here.”
American Slot Machine Niche
Changes appear to be happening in the American gambling industry. While slot machines are still the biggest revenue generator in the casino, many players are started to be turned off by the high house edge of the one-armed bandits (as slots were called back in the day). Instead, gamblers are looking for games with better odds. In Pennsylvania, the slot machine revenues have declined significantly.
At the Bethlehem Sands near Philadelphia, management has encouraged the shift on some level. The casino installed dozens of baccarat tables, while facilitating whole busloads of people driving up from the Chinatown region of New York City. Asian gamblers prefer baccarat, so the Sands Bethlehem took steps to lure the into the casino. The parent company, Las Vegas Sands, is quite familiar with Asian gaming tastes, because of its Asian casinos: Venetian Macau and Sands Macau in China and Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.