Mohegans reportedly to run casino in Atlantic City

Mohegan — The Mohegan Tribe’s efforts to trade on its gaming expertise apparently have paid off, with an announcement expected today that its Mohegan Gaming Advisors will assume management of Atlantic City’s venerable Resorts Casino Hotel.

Formed in late 2010, Mohegan Gaming Advisors is the consulting and management arm of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, which operates Mohegan Sun in Uncasville and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, a racetrack casino in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

The Press of Atlantic City reported Monday on its website that Resorts has scheduled a press conference today to announce “an exciting new partnership.” Sources who were not named told the paper Mohegan Sun would become Resorts’ new operator.

Reached Monday night, Mitchell Etess, the Mohegan gaming authority’s chief executive officer, would neither confirm nor deny the report. Mohegan sources, however, indicated an announcement concerning Mohegan Gaming Advisors was scheduled for today.

The Mohegans announced the formation of Mohegan Gaming Advisors in July of last year, though its genesis can be traced to a shakeup in Mohegan Sun’s top management at the end of 2010. Etess, then president and chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun as well as the gaming authority, relinquished his casino post to concentrate on the authority’s outside ventures.

In May 2011, the authority announced an agreement with Westchester, N.Y., developer Louis Cappelli to develop Mohegan Sun Concord, a $600 million racetrack casino in upstate New York’s Catskills region. Mohegan Gaming Advisors was to manage the facility.

The Concord project remains stalled amid litigation involving Cappelli and rival developers.

Resorts Casino Hotel, then known as Resorts International, debuted May 26, 1978, the first legal casino to operate outside Nevada. A major renovation took place in 2002.

Reeling from the recession and acknowledged mismanagement, the casino was purchased in 2010 by former CEO Dennis Gomes and New York real estate magnate Morris Bailey. Gomes, who died in February, oversaw a Resorts makeover featuring a “Roaring ’20s” theme.

Gomes’ son, Aaron, has been involved in the casino’s management since his father’s death.

Just last month, Resorts announced a partnership with singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett, who will open a Margaritaville-branded casino and entertainment complex at Resorts.


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