The CEO of the company behind Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun casino has abruptly resigned without indicating where he was going next.
On Tuesday, Connecticut media outlet The Day reported that Bobby Soper (pictured), who has headed up the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) since 2015, had unexpectedly resigned his MTGA post, despite his current contract not set to expire until March 31, 2018.
Soper has been involved with the tribe’s gaming operations in various roles since 2001. The Day quoted Soper praising his MTGA experience as “a great run,” but he said he was now “happy to take on a new challenge.” Soper declined to specify what that new challenge entailed, due to “certain confidentiality obligations.” Soper also declined to specify whether this new opportunity was in the gaming industry.
Chuck Bunnell, chief of staff for the Mohegan Tribe, indicated that former MTGA CEO Mitchell Etess would act as interim CEO until a permanent successor could be found. Etess currently serves as a senior adviser to the tribe.
Soper’s tenure saw the tribe expand well beyond its Connecticut roots. The MTGA is developing a massive integrated resort in South Korea and has partnered with the Cowlitz Indian Tribe on a $500m casino project in Washington state. The MTGA is also planning a contentious joint venture with Connecticut rival Foxwoods Resort Casino near the Massachusetts border to compete with the in-development MGM Springfield resort.
Mohegan Sun reported revenue up 2.8% to $1.02b in the fiscal year that ended September 30, 2016, although the property reported a net loss of $51.6m in the quarter that ended December 31. Earlier this week, the property revealed that its January slots revenue had fallen 2.3% to $47.4m.
The tribe also operates the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino in Pennsylvania and manages gaming operations at Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino Hotel and at the Paragon Casino Resort in Louisiana.