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Mohegan Gaming to manage space in Las Vegas casino in 2020

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Mohegan — In a first for a tribal gaming company, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment has signed a deal to manage 60,000 square feet of gaming space in a Las Vegas casino that will close for a makeover early next year and reopen by the end of 2020.

MGE, Mohegan Sun’s parent company, announced Tuesday that it has reached a multiyear agreement with JC Hospitality, owner and operator of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas, which will be rebranded as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, part of the Curio Collection by Hilton — a global, upscale portfolio of more than 70 hotels and resorts.

It’s the latest in a series of moves by MGE to expand beyond the northeastern United States.

“Aligning the MGE brand with Virgin Hotels Las Vegas extends our growing reach into yet another legendary global entertainment capital,” Mario Kontomerkos, MGE’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Together with Virgin Hotels, experience seekers all over the world will have the opportunity to partake in an extraordinary guest journey that only our strategic alliance can deliver.”

MGE is developing an integrated entertainment resort in Incheon, South Korea, and is pursuing gaming licenses in Japan and Greece. In addition to Mohegan Sun, it either owns or manages casinos in Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Washington state and Ontario, Canada.

The deal with JC Hospitality “establishes the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, MGE’s owner, as the first Native American tribe to operate in the Las Vegas resort corridor,” MGE asserted in Tuesday's announcement.

"This new and exciting relationship brings together two ‘Best in Class’ organizations and continues the Mohegan Tribe’s tradition of blazing new trails for others to follow," said James Gessner Jr., the tribe’s interim chairman.

Virgin Hotels, part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, operates hotels in Chicago and San Francisco and has plans to open others in Dallas; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; New York; California, and Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino will close in February for more than eight months before reopening as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. 


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