Las Vegas is getting the city’s first tribal casino next year.

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, located just off the Strip, announced last month that in February 2020, the property would close for eight months for renovations. When it reopens later in the year, it will be rebranded as Virgin Hotel, a hotel chain founded by Richard Branson in 2010.

Branson has plenty of experience operating companies in many different fields, but gambling is one area where Branson has very little experience. That’s where the Mohegan Tribe is stepping in to fill the knowledge gap.

It was announced Tuesday morning that Mohegan Gaming will operate the gaming floor at the new hotel & casino resort. Mohegan Gaming is part of the Mohegan Tribe, which operates one of the two tribal casinos in Connecticut, as well as Mohegan Sun Pocono in Pennsylvania and Resorts Casino in Atlantic City.

The agreement between the tribe and JC Hospitality, the ownership group of the property that includes Branson, will make the Mohegan Tribe the first Native American tribe to run a casino in the Las Vegas Strip corridor.

“This new and exciting relationship brings together two ‘Best in Class’ organizations and continues the Mohegan Tribe’s tradition of blazing new trails for others to follow,” said Mohegan Tribe interim chairman James Gessner Jr. in the statement.

The agreement is still pending approval from the Nevada Gaming Commission and terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

This is the second near-Strip hotel-casino to recently announce a rebranding. Last month, it was announced that Hooters Las Vegas would become OYO Hotel & Casino Las Vegas.




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