The Mohegan Tribe will officially become the first tribal entity to run a Las Vegas casino after the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the tribe for a license.
According to a report from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the commission spent several hours digging through the tribe’s application last Thursday before ultimately giving them their approval. The Connecticut-based tribe will run the casino operations of the Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, which is scheduled to open in January 2021.
The property, which was formerly the site of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, will have a 60,000-square foot casino with 650 slot machines and 50 table games. Billionaire Richard Branson purchased the property in April 2018 for an undisclosed amount. Branson founded Virgin Records in 1972 before eventually expanding the brand into travel, hotels and now the gambling industry.
In September 2019, Branson announced he would bring on the Mohegan Tribe to run the day-to-day operations of the casino, while Branson’s own company, JC Hospitality, would take care of the hotel operations. The Mohegan tribe operates nine properties worldwide in eight different jurisdictions. Their largest and most notable property is the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.
The Mohegan Tribe was also selected to develop and run the first casino resort in Greece.
Commissioner Deborah Fuetsch told the LVRJ that the Mohegan’s background was as clean as she had ever seen, making it an easy process to approve the group for a license.
“I will say that this is a very impressive group of individual applicants – very clean backgrounds with not a single hiccup,” said Fuetsch. “With that many, usually we have one or two that we might have a couple of questions about their background. But this group was very impressive and really there was nothing that jumped out on any of the applicants.”