Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, the gaming arm of the Mohegan Tribe, opens its Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on January 15, 2021, in partnership with JC Hospitality LLC. (Courtesy Virgin Hotels Las Vegas)
The January 15 debut of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas on the Strip represents a huge milestone for Indian Country — the first time a Tribe will operate a casino in Las Vegas. Back in September 2019, Tribal gaming arm Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment inked a deal with Virgin Hotels Resort through then-Hard Rock Las Vegas owner JC Hospitality LLC, to operate the rebranded Vegas resort.
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“As a company, this is our first foray into the Las Vegas market, which is important to all the entertainment destinations we want to be in,” Mario Kontomerkos, CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE), told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “This obviously opens that up for us, but the other big milestone is that this is going to be the first time that a Native American Tribe is operating in the Las Vegas Strip market. That’s a huge milestone not only for us, but all of Indian Country as well.”
This new 60,000-square-foot Virgin Las Vegas is on the former Hard Rock grounds about a mile east of the strip.
“Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, as an extension of the Mohegan Tribe, pride themselves on traditional principles, in sync with modern values,” Richard “Boz” Bosworth, President and CEO of JC Hospitality, previously said. “We are excited that Virgin Hotels Las Vegas will be their first entry in the Las Vegas market.”
To help with this new endeavor in Vegas, MGE appointed Joe Hasson as General Manager and Tyler Conover as Director of Marketing.
“This is an important milestone, and we are eager to bring MGE’s world-class gaming to our network of loyal thrill-seekers in the entertainment capital of the world,” Kontomerkos said. “With industry veterans like Joe and Tyler at the helm of Mohegan Sun Casino Las Vegas, we are confident that our first venture into Las Vegas will be a fruitful one, and we are looking forward to welcoming guests later this year.”
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