Mohegan Sun

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Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun.svg
Mohegan sun at dusk crop.jpg
Address 1 Mohegan Sun Boulevard
Uncasville, Connecticut 06382-1355
Opening date October 12, 1996
Theme Native American
Number of rooms 1,356
Total gaming space 364,000 sq ft (33,800 m2)
Permanent shows Connecticut Sun during WNBA season
Signature attractions Mohegan Sun Arena
Connecticut Sun
WMOS Radio
Notable restaurants Michael Jordan's Steakhouse
Todd English's Tuscany
Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville
Hash House a go go
Casino type Land
Owner Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority
Previous names none
Renovated in 2001
2002
Website mohegansun.com

Mohegan Sun, located in Uncasville, Connecticut, is one of the largest casinos in the United States with 364,000 square feet (33,800 square meters) of gaming space.[1][2] It is located on 240 acres (97 ha) along the banks of the Thames River. It is in the foothills of southeastern Connecticut, where 60 percent of the state's tourism is concentrated. It features the 12,000-seat capacity Mohegan Sun Arena, home of the Women's National Basketball Association's Connecticut Sun. It houses a 350-seat Cabaret Theatre, the 300-seat Wolf Den, and 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) of meeting and function room space, including the Northeast’s largest ballroom[3] and 130,000 sq ft (12,000 m2) of retail shopping. It is the home of New London's WMOS FM radio station.

The casino contains slot machines, gaming tables including poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, Caribbean stud poker, keno and baccarat. The race book offers live horse or greyhound racing from around the U.S. as well as from Australia and England. It also offers wagering on jai-alai from Florida.

The economic recession that began in 2007 took a heavy toll of receipts, and by 2012 both the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods were deeply in debt.[4]

History[edit]

Further information: Mohegan Indians v. Connecticut

The development of the Mohegan Sun began in 1992 with RJH Development and LMW Investments of Connecticut, and Slavik Suites Inc. proposed the idea of developing a casino with the Mohegan tribe. The three companies formed Trading Cove Associates (TCA), which provided the Mohegans with financial support, tribal attorneys, and advisers to assist in the tribe's effort to gain official recognition as a people. In March 1994 they gained federal recognition as a sovereign people, opening the way to develop a casino. Sol Kerzner, head of Kerzner International (formerly Sun International), became involved with a 50 percent interest in TCA. Waterford Gaming had the other 50 percent interest in TCA. The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) hired TCA to oversee development and construction of the casino.[5]

The casino and resort first opened on October 12, 1996.[6] In 2000, Trading Cove Associates gave complete control of the resort to the Mohegan tribe; TCA still receives a 5% dividend on the gross revenue generated by Mohegan Sun until 2014.[7]

Features[edit]

  • The Casino of the Sky has a planetarium-like domed ceiling utilizing fiber optics to display the sun, moon, and stars (though not in actual star patterns), accompanying the lighting effects of the Wombi Rock, which is a three-story high crystal mountain crafted of alabaster and more than 12,000 individual plates of hand-selected onyx from quarries in Iran, Pakistan, and Mexico; which were transported to Carrara, Italy and fused into glass.
  • A 55 ft (17 m) high indoor waterfall called "Taughannick Falls," representing a treacherous crossing point during the tribe's migration.
  • The decor is Native American in style in many aspects. The artwork throughout the casino and the structural design has Native American feel. In addition, several mechanical wolves stand high atop rock structures inside the gaming areas that occasionally sit back and howl lightly.
  • A new buffet called the Seasons Buffet replaced both the Seasons and Sunburst Buffet.

Gaming[edit]

The gaming floor has 6,500 slot machines, 377 table games as well as a racebook.[8]

The table games at Mohegan Sun range from 116 blackjack tables, craps, roulette, baccarat, and 3-card poker. They also offer video game blackjack, craps, and roulette.[9]

The poker room has 40 tables that are open all day.[citation needed]

Economic impact[edit]

Mohegan Sun employs some 10,000 local employees, with about 40% female and 60% male, and brought in $1.62 billion in revenues in 2007.[10] Concerts and boxing events bring further temporary employment and revenues. The casino also submits about 25% of its revenues from slot machines to the State of Connecticut.[11] However, this impact has not been without costs to the tribe and local communities. The Mohegan Tribe is $1.6 billion in debt[12] while local communities have complained about increased local costs for services associated with casino-related traffic, crime and social welfare service demands.[13]

Expansion[edit]

Local[edit]

In November 2006, the tribe announced a $740 million expansion titled Project Horizon. The project was originally scheduled be completed in 2010, with phases of the expansion being completed prior to that. The expansion included the "Casino of the Wind," which opened in August 2008 and features 650 slot machines, 28 table games, and 42-table poker room.[2] It would have also added 1,000 new hotel rooms, including 300 House of Blues themed rooms, accessible through a separate lobby.[14] However, in September 2008, Mohegan Sun placed the Project Horizon expansion on hold, due to the economic recession affecting the regional gaming markets. The feasibility of the expansion would be reevaluated within a year.[15] However, in 2010, the tribe had a $58.1 million impairment charge which halted any work on the project. Project Horizon was eventually terminated.[16]

In May 2011, Mohegan Sun announced that the casino would be expanded by building a new 300- to 500-room hotel. The expansion would accommodate the growing demand of hotel rooms at the casino. The Mohegans would let a third-party developer construct and own the new facility, unlike the existing hotel which is owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority.[16] However, ground was never broken on the project.

Expansion plans were once again announced on June 24, 2013 for a $50 million, 200,000-square foot "Downtown District," to be built next to the Uncasville casino's Winter Garage, featuring a New England-themed food pavilion; a 14-screen Marquee Cinemas multiplex; an upscale bowling-and-dining facility; and a promenade of retail shops whose tenants will include Coach, Tiffany, Sephora, Tommy Bahama, Puma and others.[17] On July 28, 2014, Mohegan Sun announced it expected to break ground by the end of the year on a $110 million, 400-room hotel at Mohegan Sun. The hotel would be financed and built by a third-party developer and then leased back to Mohegan Sun to operate. Construction was due to start by the end of the year and be opened 18-20 months afterward.[18] It also reported plans to add a $50 million nongaming “Downtown District” addition to the casino were advancing. The project would be owned and operated by the developers. [19]

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs[edit]

On January 25, 2005, Mohegan Sun acquired its first gaming venture outside of Connecticut with its $280 million purchase of the Pocono Downs Racetrack in Plains Township, Pennsylvania from Penn National Gaming.[20] Mohegan Sun renamed the property "Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs" and began a major expansion. Operation as the first slots casino in the state of Pennsylvania commenced in November 2006.

Plans for Mohegan Sun, Massachusetts[edit]

On August 2, 2007, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority purchased 150 acres (61 ha) of land in the town of Palmer, Massachusetts, a town in eastern Hampden County, with about 12,000 residents. The land is directly off of exit 8 of the Massachusetts Turnpike. At the time, they had plans to build a retail center and it was unknown if a casino or any type of gaming would be allowed to occur.[21] A month later on September 17, 2007, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick unveiled a proposal to license three full-scale casinos in the state in a bidding process. The locations would be in the western, southeastern, and Boston area of the state.[22] Both the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation to allow casinos in the state, but Governor Patrick refused to sign the legislation due to his objections to allowing slot machines at race tracks. Prospects for legalizing casinos in the state were on hold until after the next legislative session began in January 2011.[23] In June 2011, House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo said that a bill to legalize casinos would be taken up by state legislators in July pending the outcome of talks with Governor Patrick.[24] In November 2011, Patrick signed the bill allowing three full-scale casinos and one slot machine parlor in the state.[25]

The Palmer casino plans were put in limbo after voters rejected the proposal for a $1 billion casino by a 93-vote margin. A recount of the 5221 votes cast on November 26, 2013 affirmed the rejection by an additional vote resulting in a 94-vote margin.[26] The Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce endorsed the destination resort project and the economic benefits for the region.[27]

Mohegan Sun is also competing for a license to develop and operate a casino resort near Boston at the Suffolk Downs racetrack. The plans called for about 4,000 slot machines, 100 table games, and a poker room on a 42-acre piece of land in the Revere-side of the property.[28] A referendum in Revere to approve a revised host community agreement for the proposal was passed on February 25, 2014 after the first proposed agreement for a plan that straddled the border of two communities was rejected by one — East Boston — and approved by the other — Revere.[29] A deal was then made with Boston Mayor Martin Walsh to pay $75 million in capital improvements to East Boston and Boston and $18 million a year in payments to the city should Mohegan get the license.[30] The final outcome depends on firstly - the Massachusetts Gaming Commission decision on Sept 12th, 2014, for which site - Mohegan Sun, Revere or Wynn Resorts, Everett - will be issued a license, and secondly, a state-wide referendum on the November 2014 ballot attempting to overturn the 2011 law allowing casino gambling in Massachusetts.[31]

New York[edit]

In May 2011, Mohegan Sun announced plans to expand into New York with a casino in the Catskills. The casino will takeover the Concord Resort development in the town of Thompson, New York. The New York casino will consist of a 258-room hotel, a 75,000 square feet (7,000 m2) casino with 2,100 video lottery terminals and up to 450 electronic table game positions, five restaurants, retail space, harness race track, grandstand and simulcast and 10,000 square feet (930 m2) of ballrooms and meeting space.[32]

Atlantic City[edit]

In August 2012, the tribe announced an agreement to take over management of the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.[33]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kapon, Ron. "Mohegan Sun WineFest 2013". North American Travel Journalists Association. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Christoffersen, John (2008-08-28). "Mohegan Sun opening new casino". South Coast Today. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  3. ^ Inside Norwich Trip Advisor Retrieved on December 14, 2007
  4. ^ Associated Press, "Indian casinos struggle to get out from under debt," January 21, 2012 online
  5. ^ "History of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority". Reference for Business. Retrieved 2007-12-08. 
  6. ^ "Felt Jungle". Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  7. ^ Waterford Gaming - Amended And Restated Omnibus Termination Agreement Socratek Retrieved on November 21, 2007
  8. ^ Mohegan Sun Casino Review
  9. ^ Casino of the Earth, Wind, Sky
  10. ^ "Mohegan Sun". Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  11. ^ "Casinos Report Slots Revenue Down From '08". Hartford Courant. 2009-06-16. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  12. ^ Mohegan debt not fatal for casino, The Columbian, 23 September 2010.
  13. ^ Municipal and state impact of gaming, New England Law Review, 25 April 2003.
  14. ^ "Mohegan Sun Announces Project Horizon". Indian Country. 28 November 2006. Archived from the original on 6 December 2006. Retrieved 15 December 2007. 
  15. ^ "Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority to Suspend Earth Expansion of Mohegan Sun". GlobeNewswire. 2008-09-22. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  16. ^ a b Kane, Brad (30 May 2011). "Mohegans to build another CT hotel". Hartford Business Journal Online. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  17. ^ "Mohegan Sun details $50 million retail expansion plan". 
  18. ^ "Amid earnings decline, Mohegan authority committed to expanding". 
  19. ^ "Amid earnings decline, Mohegan authority committed to expanding". 
  20. ^ Mohegan Sun Reports Mixed Results Casino City Times Retrieved on 22 November 2007
  21. ^ Mohegan Tribe May Join Competition Casino City Times Retrieved on December 19, 2007
  22. ^ Massachusetts to Consider Three Casinos for the State New York Times Retrieved on 19 December 2007
  23. ^ Appleton, John (14 August 2010). "Tribe still pushing for casino in Palmer". The Republican. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  24. ^ Ring, Dan (6 June 2011). "Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo eyes casinos debate for July". The Republican. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  25. ^ Bierman, Noah (November 22, 2011). "Patrick signs casino bill into law". Boston.com. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Palmer Mohegan Sun casino recount result: Only one vote changes, casino still defeated". 
  27. ^ Rizzuto, Robert (2013-01-24). "Mohegan Sun Palmer casino proposal endorsed by Quaboag Hills Chamber of Commerce". The Republican (MassLive LLC). Retrieved 2013-11-15. 
  28. ^ "Revere would receive $33m down payment, $25m to $30m a year, under Mohegan Sun proposal". The Boston Globe (The Boston Globe). 2013-12-23. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  29. ^ "Date set for Revere referendum on Mohegan Sun casino at Suffolk Downs". MassLive.com (MassLive.com). 2013-12-27. Retrieved 2013-12-29. 
  30. ^ Vaccaro, Adam (July 10, 2014). "Boston-Mohegan Sun Deal Official With Walsh’s Signature". Boston.com. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  31. ^ Barber, Elizabeth (June 24, 2014). "Massachusetts court OKs gambling referendum". Reuters. Retrieved August 1, 2014. 
  32. ^ Ring, Dan (15 May 2011). "Mohegan Sun to expand into New York with casino in Catskills". The Republican. Retrieved 9 June 2011. 
  33. ^ "Connecticut-based tribal gambling company taking over management of Resorts, NJ’s first casino". Washington Post. AP. August 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-07. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°29′32″N 72°5′29″W / 41.49222°N 72.09139°W / 41.49222; -72.09139