Virgin to Take Back Casino Operations from Mohegan Tribe

Mohegan Sun is handing over casino operations at Virgin Las Vegas back to Virgin.

This is a huge move for the struggling off-Strip casino, one of several in the works to try and recapture the resort’s former glory.

The end is nigh for “Mohegan Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.” Yes, it was confusing to us and we are a noted casino expert. Self-proclaimed, but still.

Mohegan at Virgin was just weird. Do-overs.

The tribe has operated the casino at Virgin since September 2019, and the casino has underperformed every minute of that time.

Part of the challenge has been the structure of Virgin overall. Each part of the resort is farmed out to third parties.

This has led to Virgin feeling disjointed, and has created a number of operational headaches, some of which are felt by customers.

Mohegan Sun saw Virgin as a way to dip its toe into the Vegas market, short of buying a casino (as San Manuel did at Palms).

One of the problems has been Mohegan’s marketing is terrible, and it’s disorienting when a casino promotes itself as a stand-alone offering, rather than part of an overall, integrated resort experience.

If you’ve ever gotten a marketing e-mail from Mohegan, you know it’s nearly impossible to figure out which resort the casino is in. Problematic.

Ditto the slot vouchers.

“Where the F am I?” was not a fun game.

Mohegan was the first Native American tribe to operate a Las Vegas casino. Beyond the Palms, the Seminoles bought Mirage and are transforming it into Hard Rock Las Vegas (set to open in late 2027).

Mohegan gave Virgin a go, but results are results, and Virgin as a whole has been hamstrung by the relationship.

Virgin, helmed by Cliff Atkinson (who was president of Fontainebleau for a second, it’s awkward) Virgin president since mid-2023, now has a chance to take back the reins of one of its biggest assets, the casino.

The switch is expected to happen by the end of 2024.

Here’s the official announcement.

The divorce appears amicable, but everyone plays nice in news releases.

A new loyalty club will be rolled out soon, and tier matching will be available once it’s live, and important feature when trying to attract new players.

It will be a huge improvement to have Virgin’s casino integrated into the resort as a whole, and along with other changes in the works, Virgin could very well avoid the bankruptcy we predicted when things looked bleak.

Whether or not Virgin can turn things around as envisioned remains to be seen, but removing Mohegan Sun from the equation is a big step in the right direction.