Mohegan Sun files Massachusetts casino application, rounds out field of four competing for Western Mass. license

TAGs: brigade capital management, Massachusetts, Mohegan Sun

Mohegan SunWith the deadline for casino applications set to hit this week, the Mohegan Sun are now expected to apply for the one of the casino licenses being issued by the state of Massachusetts. Mohegan’s 11th hour application comes after the casino inked a deal with Brigade Capital Management, a New York-based investment group that will be the financial backer of Mohegan’s $600 million casino project in Palmer, Masschusetts.

Mohegan is vying for the one casino license in Western Massachusetts and figures to be involved in a highly competitive four-way dance with Penn National Gaming, MGM Resorts International, and fellow buzzer-beating entrant, Hard Rock International.

The entrant of Mohegan could be a game-changer, especially after it found a deep-pocketed partner to finance the entire project. “We now add probably the best financial footing to our [other] advantages, and really are excited about this partnership,” Mitchell Etess, chief executive of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, told the Boston Globe. “Mohegan Sun plans to submit its state application — and the nonrefundable $400,000 application fee — first thing Monday morning. ”

As part of Mohegan’s plan for the $600 million project, the casino operator is looking into building its own hotel and spa, retail and dining options, numerous other attractions, and of course, a gambling floor. All in all, the project is expected to create around 1,000 to 1,200 construction jobs and another 2,500 permanent jobs if the casino gets the nod. Getting that ‘nod’ certainly won’t be easy, especially the competition Mohegan Sun faces for that Western Massachusetts license. Both MGM Resorts and Penn National Gaming have already sent their applications and Hard Rock International’s $700 – $800 million casino proposal is also expected make some serious noise.

But there’s no mistaking the confidence emanating from Mohegan Sun, who now has the financial means to stand toe-to-toe with the competition. Don Morgan, managing member of Brigade, is equally confident of their application, hailing Mohegan Sun as the embodiment of  “the proven model of success for gaming in New England.’’

“This project will be built at the best location for a casino in Massachusetts, by a team with combined experience in multiple licensing jurisdictions, and managed by one of the premier gaming operators in the US,” Morgan adds. “We are excited to be a partner in this endeavor and to have a role in establishing the Massachusetts casino gaming industry.”

Once considered as the favorites to land the Western Massachusetts casinos license, Mohegan Sun spent the better part of the previous year in the shadows as its competition stole the limelight with their audacious presentations and proposals. But Mohegan’s back in the game, and they’re bringing some serious ammunition with them in the form of a company worth $12 billion.

It’s on in Western Massachusetts, fellas.


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