Virgin Taking Over Las Vegas Casino Ops, Mohegan Out

Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment announced on Tuesday that Virgin Las Vegas is entering a “transition period,” which will ultimately result in Virgin taking over casino operations at the off-Strip property.

Virgin Las Vegas resort fee Strip
A sign at Virgin Las Vegas. Virgin will take over casino operations from Mohegan by the end of this year. (Image: Virgin Hotels)

Following the conclusion of that transition, Mohegan will cease to have involvement in the day-to-day running of the gaming venue. No timeline was given for how long the shift will last, nor was there mention of financial implications related to the move.

We are grateful for the collaboration with Mohegan, and we will continue to work together to ensure a well-oriented transition of casino operations,” said Virgin Las Vegas President Cliff Atkinson in a press release. “This transition is a natural progression in our journey to provide guests of Virgin Hotels Las Vegas with a seamless resort experience.”

The casino at Virgin Las Vegas currently uses Mohegan’s Momentum loyalty platform, but it’s expected that when the transition to Virgin operation is complete, a new rewards program will be rolled out that will include tier matching to Momentum.

Rough History for Virgin Las Vegas

Mohegan has operated the casino at Virgin Las Vegas since the property opened in September 2019. Over that time, the integrated resort has struggled to attract a dedicated following. It’s located off, though not far from the Strip, indicating it’s not the typical Las Vegas tourist spot, but it’s also not viewed as a locals’ casino.

Additionally, the property embraced a level of outsourcing not typically seen at Las Vegas casino hotels. The casino has been run by Mohegan, the gaming and leisure arm of Connecticut’s Mohegan Tribe. The venue’s theater is operated by AEG Live, while its hotel is part of Hilton’s Curio Collection. Its sportsbook is managed by Betfred.

It’s possible some of those bumps will be smoothed by moving the casino to Virgin’s control, but how much of the property’s struggles, if any, can be placed on Mohegan’s doorstep isn’t clear.

“With both Virgin Hotels Las Vegas and Mohegan committed to a smooth handover, the transition period is planned to be completed by current year end with no significant disruptions anticipated for resort guests and team members,” according to the statement.

Las Vegas Tribal Casino Population Cut by One

With Mohegan out at Virgin Las Vegas, the number of Sin City casinos operated by Tribal gaming entities declines to two from three. Hard Rock International runs the Mirage on the Strip while the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of California owns and operates the off-Strip Palms.

Owing to the deep cash stockpiles of Tribal operators such as Hard Rock, Mohegan, and several from California, among others, it’s possible that if more Las Vegas gaming venues come up for sale, Sin City’s Tribal gaming population could increase.

Specific to Mohegan, news of its looming departure from Las Vegas arrived less than three months after it was announced that it will cease its management agreement at Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, NJ at the end of this year.

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