In the most recent Resorts Casino Hotel management agreement update, the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (NJCCC) will allow the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) to invest in Resort’s online gambling operations. The agreement however limits the tribe’s brick and mortar ownership of the Resort’s Atlantic City property to the original 10%, and cancels an earlier provision that would have increased their investment to 25%.
The Mohegan Tribe, through their MTGA management company, came on board with AC’s Resorts Casino Hotel in 2012 when investor Morris Bailey lost his operations partner – the late, highly-regarded casino executive Dennis Gomes. MTGA agreed to manage the Resorts’ day-to-day operations in exchange for a 10% ownership stake, all subject to NJCCC review and approval. In a recent statement, NJCCC chairman Matthew Levinson spoke highly of the value the MTGA has had in bringing new visitors to both the Resorts Casino Hotel specifically, and Atlantic City generally.
The Mohegan received federal recognition as a sovereign nation in 1994. The MTGA was established in 1995, and together with an investment from modern casino-resorts visionary Sol Kerzner, built their premiere destination, Mohegan Sun, in Connecticut. The tribe expanded casino operations into Pennsylvania with the 2005 acquisition of Mohegan Sun Pocono, providing gaming access to residents of New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. MTGA’s further expansion into the Atlantic City casino operations has provided Mohegan tribe-owned properties the ability to diversify into online gaming.
In an effort to salvage gambling-sourced revenue, the NJ Legislature approved a 10-year trial for online casino gaming in late 2013, but limited operations to Atlantic City casino websites only. Resorts Casino saw the potential and in April of this year, opened the US’s first ever internet gambling lounge – resortscasino.com – allowing their thousands of casino guests to experience online gaming first hand on the casino floor. Using Resort’s NJ online license, the Mohegan Tribe was able to launch MoheganSunCasino.com.
Recently the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement approved Amaya’s PokerStars online operations, and Resorts Digital Gaming, Resort Casino’s igaming arm, announced their partnership with the established PokerStars brand, with plans for PokerStars to become their exclusive online poker website. Further, Resort Casino is set to build a PokerStars themed poker room within the casino – an extension of the i-gaming lounge.
It is not known to what extent MTGA will invest in Resort Casino’s i-gaming, but the NJCCC management agreement provides the Mohegan Tribe with oversight in the selection of games and configuration of the gaming floor. The new agreement, including the i-gaming investment provision is approved through 2019.
In the meantime, the MTGA has signed a management agreement with the Cowlitz tribe in Western Washington, and has finalized a concept agreement for a world-class gateway casino resort inter-connected with S. Korea’s Incheon Airport called Inspire Integrated Resort.