Gaming machines can be seen in an artist's of a lobby at the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas , set to open in the fall of 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Image courtesy of Virgin Hotels and Rockwell Group

Mohegan Tribe expands gaming enterprise to Las Vegas

The Mohegan Tribe continues to grow its gaming enterprise beyond its homelands in Connecticut.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, the tribe's hospitality arm, reached an agreement to manage a casino in Nevada. The 60,000-square-foot property is to be located at the forthcoming Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, at the site of a former Hard Rock-branded facility.

“This new and exciting relationship brings together two ‘Best in Class’ organizations and continues the Mohegan Tribe’s tradition of blazing new trails for others to follow,” interim Chairman James Gessner Jr., said in a press release on Tuesday.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment still needs to gain approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission in order to manage the casino. Once that happens, the Virgin casino will be the first facility in the main area of Las Vegas to be operate by a tribal entity, according to news reports.

The tribe entered the gaming business in 1996 with the opening of Mohegan Sun on its reservation in Connecticut. The facility is operated pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a federal law.

The tribe has since expanded operations to include commercial facilities in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and in Ontario, Canada. The tribe also plays a role in managing Indian gaming properties in Washington and Louisiana.

A commercial casino in South Korea is under development, as well as another casino in Connecticut that will be operated pursuant to state law. The latter facility is a joint effort with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, also based in the state.

Additionally, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is bidding on a commercial casino near Athens, Greece. The only other competitor for the license is Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe, based in Florida.

Incidentally, the Hard Rock-branded facility in Las Vegas is not part of the Hard Rock International family. It remained separate following the Seminole Tribe's purchase of the corporation in 2006.

Virgin Hotels has since acquired the 16.7-acre site, located near the main strip in Las Vegas. The facility will close in February 2020 before undergoing renovations and reopening as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas in the fall.

Read More on the Story
Mohegan Gaming to manage Virgin Las Vegas when it opens in 2020 (The Las Vegas Review-Journal September 17, 2019)
Mohegan Gaming to manage space in Las Vegas casino in 2020 (The New London Day September 17, 2019)
Mohegan Gaming to manage Virgin Hotels Las Vegas casino (The Springfield Republican September 17, 2019)
US gambling giants Mohegan and Hard Rock bid for Hellenikon casino in Greece (Tornos News September 16, 2019

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