Mohegan Gaming Names Ray Pineault to Lead Company Through Major Expansion

Posted on: May 28, 2021, 08:47h. 

Last updated on: July 5, 2021, 08:28h.

Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) will be headed by Ray Pineault, as the tribal casino firm embarks on its most complex expansion in its history. MGE was founded in 1995. 

Mohegan Gaming Ray Pineault Connecticut
Ray Pineault, seen here, is the new president and CEO of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment. The executive has been a longtime employee of the tribal casino group. (Image: Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment)

The gaming and hospitality unit of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut, Pineault replaces Mario Kontomerkos, who abruptly resigned as president and CEO in March. 

Pineault has been with MGE for the past two decades. He’s served in a variety of capacities, including president and general manager of MGE’s flagship property, Mohegan Sun Casino & Resort in Connecticut. Most recently, he served as chief operating officer of MGE. 

“I have dedicated my career to ensuring the success of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment,” Pineault said. “I am grateful to the Mohegan Tribe for this opportunity, and will work tirelessly to uphold our values and traditions, both here in the United States and in the communities around the world in which we operate.”

Critical Period

There’s perhaps been more no more important time for the Mohegan Tribe than today. 

The days of the Native American group having a large regional monopoly in the northeast — other than the neighboring Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and its Foxwoods Resort Casino — are long gone. Connecticut’s three bordering states — Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and New York to the west — each have commercial casinos now. 

MGE has since expanded its gaming portfolio, the company owning Mohegan Sun in the Pennsylvania Poconos and handling gaming operations at Resorts Atlantic City, Fallsview Casino Resort, Casino Niagara on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

Mohegan additionally conducts casino operations at the iLani Casino Resort in Washington and Paragon Casino Resort in Louisiana on behalf of other federally recognized tribes. 

But Mohegan Gaming is currently moving forward with its largest investment endeavors ever. 

The firm is spending more than $1 billion in Athens to build an integrated casino resort on the grounds of the former Hellinikon International Airport. MGE is additionally constructing a multibillion-dollar casino resort development in South Korea at the Incheon International Airport.

Finally, MGE is also mulling a bid for one of Japan’s three forthcoming integrated resort licenses. The company is most interested in Nagasaki.

Connecticut Expansion

Pineault’s appointment comes as Mohegan’s namesake property in its home state is also set to undergo expansion.

This week, the Connecticut General Assembly signed legislation to expand Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods’ gaming privileges to include sports betting, both in-person and online, and internet casinos. Connecticut. Gov. Ned Lamont (D) says he will soon sign the measure and amend the tribes’ Class III gaming compacts.

Once that’s completed, the US Interior Department will have the final say in determining if the new forms of gaming are fully authorized. 

The iGaming and sports betting options are expected to give the two casinos an upper hand on their competitors in Massachusetts, which currently are not legal where MGM Springfield and Encore Boston Harbor operate.