Good news seem to keep rolling for Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment as the casino and hospitality company secured this week regulatory approval to operate the first tribal casino in Las Vegas.
Members of the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday voted in favor of granting Mohegan a license to operate a casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
The Connecticut-headquartered company is the first tribal operator to run a casino in Las Vegas. News that Mohegan has obtained a license in Nevada emerge shortly after the casino operator was selected as the winning bidder in the race for a license for the operation of a casino resort as part of a larger development scheme near Athens, Greece.
In Las Vegas, Mohegan will operate a 60,000-square-foot casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The property is located at the former site of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Paradise Road and Harmon Avenue.
The former Hard Rock complex closed doors for good this past February to be renovated and transformed into Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The rebranded and revamped resort was expected to open doors this fall, but delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic resulted in its grand opening to be pushed back to mid-January 2021.
Mohegan and the property’s new owner, JC Hospitality, a joint venture between Bosworth Hospitality Partners, Virgin Hotels, and other partners, announced their casino partnership in September 2019.
When it opens this coming January, Mohegan’s casino will feature 650 slot machines and 50 table games. The number of devices could change depending on demand.
Nevada gaming commissioners said Thursday that Mohegan’s licensing is a “very exciting opportunity to bring in new investors and operators to Las Vegas” and that the company’s entry into the local market will be a win-win both for Las Vegas and Mohegan itself.
Commissioner Deborah Fuetsch said that Mohegan had a “very impressive group of individual applicants” for licensing in Nevada and that each and every individual in that group had “very clean backgrounds with not a single hiccup.”
Another Nevada gaming commissioner, Ogonna Brown, said that Mohegan Tribe’s cultural richness could add new experiences to Las Vegas and that she is excited about the “additional concepts, ideas, philosophies and traditions” that are set to come to Las Vegas.
Aside from its flagship property – Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut – Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment also operates casino resorts in New Jersey, Louisiana, Washington, and Canada. As mentioned above, the company recently won the right to build a casino resort near the Greek capital, Athens.
It is also currently building a mega-resort near Incheon Airport in South Korea. According to recent reports by Korean news outlets, Mohegan is facing difficulties in securing capital to complete the project due to the disruptions caused by the global Covid-19 crisis.
Still, Mohegan’s CEO, Mario Kontomerkos, said that the resort is on track for 2022 launch and that they are still fully committed to their pre-pandemic international expansion plans.
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