The Mohegan Sun, with their current 364,000 square feet of gaming space, now sits as the largest casino in the United States and the third largest in the world. Together with fellow Connecticut Indian casino Foxwoods, the state now has the two largest casinos in the country and two of the world’s fourth largest, with the other two being located in Macau.
Mohegan Sun is within easy driving distance of New York City, just two and a half hours by car, and also less than two hours away from Boston, making their location prime real estate indeed for a casino. It is located in Uncasville, just north of New London.
1992 saw the opening of Connecticut’s first casino at Foxwoods, which captured the interest of South African casino owner Sol Kerzner, whose properties included the Sun City casino. This is where the “sun” part of Mohegan Sun comes from, as his company was then known as Sun International, with Sun being prominent in their properties.
So the idea was put forth to build a large casino on Mohegan land, but there was one problem, the Mohegan Nation was not recognized federally as an official tribe, and therefore did not have the recognition of sovereignty that was required to move ahead.
So a company was created by Kerzner and his partners, TCA, and their first mission was to have the tribe’s sovereignty recognized, and within 2 years, the tribe got what it needed to move forward on the project.
Two years later, in 1996, Mohegan Sun opened up, and in 2000, TCA turned over control of the casino to the Mohegans, retaining a 5% dividend on the gross revenue until 2014. This has passed now and the tribe now has full ownership of the property.
Ironically, while this has stimulated the local economy immensely, the economic recession of recent years has been hard on the operation, as it has with Foxwoods as well, and as it has for casinos generally, and the Mohegan tribe currently has a lot of debt, but they aren’t worried.
Rather than downsizing, they are looking to expand the operation even further, and construction is underway for another building on the property, the Earth Tower, which is another beautiful building and when completed in the fall of 2016, will add another 400 more rooms to the complex.
Mohegan Sun has also teamed up with a South Korean company to build a $5 billion casino there, which will take the tribe even further into the big time, although make no mistake, their current casino is as big time as they come.
The Mohegan Sun Complex
Mohegan Sun is a glass building that is simply gorgeous both on the outside and on the inside. It features a prominent Native American theme, and no expense has been spared to create an atmosphere of opulence that rivals any casino anywhere.
There is an impressive 17 foot indoor waterfall called that not only is eye catching, it represents a notable moment in the tribe’s history, the crossing of Taughannick Falls. Mechanical wolves howl on the casino floor, which also is decorated with an artificial sky with fiber optic lighting, and the property also features several other motifs designed to both delight the eye and pay tribute to the tribe.
Some casinos have large entertainment venues, but Mohegan Sun just doesn’t shoot for large. Their Mohegan Sun Arena has a seating capacity of 12,000 people and is the venue for two professional sports teams. The WNBA team that plays here, the Connecticut Sun, is even named after the place.
They also have a couple of more intimate venues, the 350 seat Cabaret Theater and the 300 seat Wolf Den, as well as 100,000 square feet of meeting space. The property also includes the Northeast’s largest ballroom, and they operate a radio station as well, New London’s WMOS-FM, appropriately called “The Wolf.”
Their 34 story tall building also houses 1,200 luxury guest rooms and suites, a 22,000 square foot luxury spa, and a fitness center. There is also an 18 hole golf course on the property, as well as 130,000 square feet of retail shopping space.
If you like restaurants, then Mohegan Sun is definitely the place to be, with their massive selection of 44 different dining options, which includes 17 nightclubs and bars, all of which serve food as well. This is a dining and entertainment bonanza.
There’s lots of special entertainment events at their venues, including their arena, and guests are given a lot to take advantage of besides the casino, although the casino is the central attraction.
The Mohegan Sun Casino
There are a lot of large casinos in the United States, but none as large as this one. Their 6,500 gaming machines is the most of any casino in the world, so if you like slots, this is truly the Mecca. The casino floor has grown so much lately that even their website has trouble keeping up with updates, one part of it says they have 5,000, another part says 5,500, but it’s an even bigger number now.
There are slots of every kind and every stake here, including lots of video poker, and with penny slots, quarter slots, all the way up to $100 slots, to suit every bankroll and budget.
They feature the latest technology as well as many progressive jackpot slots, giving players the potential for some truly huge payouts.
Those who enjoy casino table games are also in for a treat, and there are 377 different gaming tables here, which is a huge amount for a casino, but this isn’t just any casino either.
They offer Baccarat, Mini Baccarat, Midi Baccarat, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Craps, Four Card Poker, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Pai Gow Tiles, Roulette, Sic Bo, Spanish 21, Texas Holdem, Three Card Poker, and Wheel of Fortune.
They also have a 42 table, round the clock poker room, where you can pit your skills not against the casino but against other players. Players at the casino are rewarded for their play with Momentum Dollars and these rewards can also be used for buy ins for tournaments in the poker room.
The poker room offers cash play, regular tournaments, and even sit and go tournaments, and is a popular choice among poker rooms in the area.
Players who like to bet on horse racing, dog racing, and jai alai will find ample opportunity to do so here, at Mohegan Sun’s state of the art racebook. The casino also offers both smoking and smoke free gaming to suit everyone’s preference.
This is simply an amazing facility and if you like casinos then this is definitely one to experience.