Mohegan Tribe Leaving Las Vegas Casinos Business

The Mohegan Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas (pictured) will no longer be operated by the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut by the end of 2024.

The first Tribal casino operator in Las Vegas took over management of the property in 2021. It is now selling the operational rights back to Virgin, the British multinational corporation that runs the rest of the casino resort property. 

The Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut operates the Mohegan Sun in their home state, as well as casinos in California and Atlantic City, New Jersey. It also recently opened the mega resort Mohegan Inspire in Incheon, South Korea.

“We are grateful for the collaboration with Mohegan, and we will continue to work together to ensure a well-oriented transition of casino operations,” said Cliff Atkinson, Virgin Las Vegas president, in a press release. 

“This transition is a natural progression in our journey to provide guests of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with a seamless resort experience.”

The Transition

In the Tribe’s last financial reports in late 2023, it revealed that operating cash flow from Virgin Las Vegas casino – that’s all the money in and out of the venue – was just $3.1 million. That was down 434% on the same figure in 2022. 

That disastrous fall in gambling income came despite booming gambling revenues for its Sin City competitors of more than a billion a month throughout last year. 

The transition to Virgin is subject to regulatory approval from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. It is unclear if the Mohegans paid any kind of fee to Virgin to end the contract.

Atkinson will oversee the transition period, with the permanent position confirmed by the end of the year. 

He was previously president of the recently opened and troubled mega resort Fontainebleau Las Vegas, as well as a high- ranking executive at Luxor. 

Tribal Vegas 

Since Mohegan decided to test the waters in Las Vegas by running a partner casino, two other rival Tribal casino operators have joined the Sin City market. 

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of California took over the Palms casino in 2022. Then The Mirage was acquired by the largest U.S. tribal gambling and hospitality operator Hard Rock International, which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. 

It plans to knock down the iconic Mirage and its volcano to build a giant glass guitar shaped Hard Rock Resort to open in 2025.

Interestingly, the predecessor to Virgin Hotels Las Vegas was actually a Hard Rock-branded casino, which opened in 1995. But it had nothing to do with the Seminoles, who bought the Hard Rock brand in 2007. 

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