Mohegan One Step Closer to Becoming First Tribe to Operate in Vegas

Table with Poker Cards and Casino Chips, Welcome to Las Vegas Sign

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment received a unanimous recommendation from the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday. The recommendation moves Mohegan one step closer to becoming the first tribe to operate a Las Vegas casino.

Deal to Operate Former Hard Rock Las Vegas

It can be recalled that in September of last year, Mohegan announced that it had struck a deal to operate the gambling site at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas. The deal is contingent on the renovation and the regulatory approval of the Nevada Gaming Commission. The remodeling of the property began last February and continued even with the COVID-19 pandemic as construction was deemed as essential business. It is anticipated to finish on time. Meanwhile, the Nevada Gaming Commission is expected to meet on October 22 to consider the recommendation of the Control Board.

JC Hospitality, the owners of the Las Vegas casino property, will serve as the landlord. JC Hospitality has also called on Virgin Hotels to manage and operate the property’s 1,110 guest rooms, which will become part of the Hilton Curio Collection. The property also brought in AEG Presents to assume the management, operations, and bookings for The Joint inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.New casino general manager Joe Hasson also said that celebrity chefs will be sought to operate its restaurants.

Mohegan Sun at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas

The renovated Las Vegas casino will be rebranded as the Mohegan Sun at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas and is expected to open on January 15, 2021. According to Hasson, the Mohegan brand won’t appear in the building but the electronic signage outside the property will market the brand name.

The new casino will not have a poker room and the proposed sports book which will be operated by Betfred USA Sports isn’t expected to be up and running when the Las Vegas casino opens in January. GM Hasson said that they are still going through the process of securing a license.

About Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is the business enterprise of the Mohegan Indian tribe of Connecticut. They currently manage the gaming operations for Resorts Atlantic casino, the Fallsview Casino on the Canadian side of the Niagara Falls, Indian casinos in Washington state and Louisiana, and its flagship Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville and Mohegan Sun Poconos in Pennsylvania.

Aside from expanding in Las Vegas, Mohegan has also set its sights on international gaming. It is currently developing a $5B resort at Incheon International Airport in South Korea which is targeted to open in late 2022. It also has a bid for a potential integrated resort license on the former Hellenikon International Airport near Athens in Greece.

The Las Vegas Virgin Hotel May Not Open This Fall

Back in 2018, Virgin announced it had purchased the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Since that time, the company has been focusing on renovating and rebranding the popular gambling venue. New reports have just surfaced that show the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel may be forced to delay its opening date.Virgin Hotels Logo

It’s disappointing news to hear. Many are excited to see what this venue has to offer. Today, we’re going to talk about what the owners of this hotel-casino have planned.

Let’s get into it!

Looking Back at Virgin’s Purchase of the Hard Rock Hotel-Casino

The Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas first opened to the public in March of 1995. It quickly became a popular venue with both locals and tourists. Over the years, this property went through several major renovations.

Ownership of this hotel-casino changed hands several times over the years. In 2006, it was sold to Morgans Hotel Group for $770 million. Five years later, Warner Gaming took control over the Hard Rock Hotel and began looking at new ways to boost revenue.

Things didn’t go as planned and revenue here continued to decrease. Many rumors began surfacing that Warner Gaming was looking to sell this venue. In March of 2018, these rumors turned out to be correct.

Virgin Hotels, part of Virgin Group, agreed to the purchase for $500 million. Company officials immediately began revealing plans for the venue. It was closed for eight months while construction and redesigning took place.

The opening date for the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel was pushed back several times. Many felt the global pandemic would push the date back even farther. New statements from company officials seem to indicate this is now a real possibility.

Here’s a look at why the Hard Rock may be forced to delay its opening date once again.

Company Officials May Delay the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel Opening Date

Opening a new hotel-casino in Las Vegas takes a significant amount of time and effort. Virgin Hotels is still a new company and it’s clear officials here are focused on making their new Las Vegas property a special one. Unfortunately, that’s led to several delays getting it open.

New reports seem to indicate that the planned opening in fall may now be pushed back. Richard Bosworth, President and CEO of the parent company of Virgin Hotels confirmed this to the media this week. Bosworth claims that “COVID-19 regulations, market conditions and recent event convention cancellations” could force the delay.

“The operations team is expected to receive the keys to the property in early November,” Bosworth revealed in a company statement. “The ownership group is carefully evaluating the previously announced fall 2020 opening date.”

An official reopening date will be revealed in September. Company leaders are taking a close look at whether or not pushing this date back will be financially beneficial. Based on how things are going in Las Vegas, that seems more likely than ever before.

Richard Bosworth and other officials within Virgin have to be disappointed with this development. All major hotel-casino companies operating in Las Vegas are feeling the effects of the pandemic. Things seem to be slowly improving, though.

Gaming Revenue in Nevada is Slowly Increasing

Between March and June, gambling revenue in the state of Nevada was almost non-existent. All casinos in the state were shut down during this time. The only real money these venues were making came from their online operations.

Several major casino companies saw their second-quarter revenue earnings fall by more than 95%. As the weeks go on, however, these companies are managing to bring in more money. Tourism rates in Las Vegas are increasing, as well.

Full recovery is still a long way away. Casinos are forced to limit occupancy and order social distancing. Many are unwilling to visit the city with so many regulations set in place.

The same can be said for Atlantic City. New Jersey’s casinos were given permission to reopen in early July. Revenue remains low here, yet it’s slowly increasing as time goes on.

It’s a tough situation for casino companies. It seems more likely that the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel will be forced to open at a later date than originally planned. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation as they come up.

Are you excited to see Virgin’s new Las Vegas hotel? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Three-Day Party at Hard Rock Las Vegas Has Kicked Off

It’s been almost 25 years since The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas first opened its doors to the public. Soon, this venue will close and be transformed into a property operated by Virgin Hotels. Before this happens, an exciting three-day party at Hard Rock Las Vegas will take place.Hard Rock International Logo

This extravaganza is now underway. It’s the last chance for both residents and tourists to spend time inside this storied hotel-casino. Today, we’re going to look at why it’s being sold, and what this party has to offer.

Let’s get into it!

The Sale of Hard Rock Las Vegas Was Inevitable

Back in 1990, a Hard Rock Cafe opened up not far from the Las Vegas Strip. It became a major hit and its owners looked for new ways to increase its revenue. A little after a year of opening, plans to add a hotel-casino were introduced.

Groundbreaking on this property started in 1993. The owners teamed up with Lake Tahoe-based company Harvey’s Hotel & Casino to help construct and operate this venue. In March of 2015, the $100 million Hard Rock Las Vegas officially opened to the public.

Over the next two decades, the ownership of this property changed hands several times. In 2006, Morgans Hotel Group purchased this venue and began planning major renovations. Unfortunately, this property began bleeding revenue and its owners announced they were looking to sell.

This proved to be more difficult than many predicted. Finally, in March of 2018, news broke that Virgin Hotels had agreed to purchase this venue. It’s Virgin’s first time breaking into the casino industry.

On February 3rd, this venue will officially close its doors. As a kind of farewell celebration, the owners are putting on a massive multi-day party.

The Party at Hard Rock Las Vegas is Now Underway!

Las Vegas is the party capital of the United States. With so many incredible bars and nightclubs, it takes something special to stand out. From Thursday to Sunday, visitors to this city can check out a fantastic multi-day party at Hard Rock Las Vegas. Hope is that it ends the property’s time in the city with a bang.

This party officially kicked off on Thursday evening and ends on Sunday. There will be live music, discounted drinks, and a huge number of great food options. Richard “Boz” Bosworth, CEO of the Hard Rock Las Vegas, commented on the final few days of this venue’s operation to the media this week.

“While there’s a lot of emotion seeing the Hard Rock go, there’s equal or more excitement about the future,” he said. “This is really a weekend where it’s our opportunity to not only say goodbye to the Hard Rock, but also to basically thank the Las Vegas community for supporting The Hard Rock and it’s staff members for 25 years.” 

According to Bosworth, the multi-day party at Hard Rock Las Vegas is already attracting some of the city’s biggest names. Many individuals, he claims, simply want to say goodbye to one of the city’s favorite hotel-casinos.

Virgin Hotels will soon begin its transformation of this property. Some of the company’s plans for this property have already been released. Here’s what we know so far.

Virgin Hotels Has Big Plans for Its New Las Vegas Venue

For a time, it seemed as if no company wanted to buy the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The property had struggled to generate revenue for years and its location off the Strip was becoming less and less valuable. Finally, Virgin Hotels stepped up and decided there was still a lot of potential in this venue.

The company certainly has a lot of funding behind it. Officials within Virgin Hotels have released several details about the upcoming transformation. They claim this will be one of the best new hotel-casinos in the city.

Virgin will close down the hotel-casino for eight months while these renovations take place. The company has teamed up with several hotel industry leaders to help with design plans. It will have a unique “desert theme” and is set to feature 1,504 suites, a 60,000 square-foot casino floor, and over five acres of space for the pool and surrounding amenities.

The party at Hard Rock Las Vegas is officially underway. It will end late on Sunday evening. If you’re in the city, feel free to check it out!

Stay tuned for more Las Vegas casino news over the next few months!