Mohegan Ceases Operating the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s ilani Casino Resort

Washington's Cowlitz Indian Tribe declared on Wednesday that it will sever its ties with Mohegan to stop running its ilani Casino Resort. The gaming site is based in Ridgefield, Washington.

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe owns the casino, and its partnership with Mohegan designated it the mandate to operate the casino until July 2024. But, the time recently changed its mind and decided to run the casino.

Its officials alerted the 4,000 tribe members that it had deliberated on the issue before the Tribal Council and the Cowlitz Tribal Gaming Authority (CTGA) approved its move to cease its collaboration with Mohegan. Mohegan was previously called Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, and it is the Mohegan Tribe's hospitality management and gaming subsidiary.

Mohegan runs and owns Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, Mohegan Pennsylvania in Wilkes-Barre, the Mohegan Casino at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, Fallsview Casino Resort, and Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls. The Cowlitz Indian Tribe terminated its partnership more than a year before its deadline.

Mohegan's management contract isn't about to expire soon. Even so, the Cowlitz Indian's decision to terminate it now offers the CTGA enough time to kick off a deliberate and professional process that will upgrade ilani Casino from being fully managed to a gaming venue that gets managerial aid to being independently self-managed.

CTGA and the Cowlitz Tribe will have to offer extra services and resources during this process to facilitate and support it. The Tribe launched ilani Casino Resort in April 2017 and it chose Mohegan to operate the property.

The resort has 110,000 square feet of gaming space, a retail bookmaker, 75 table games, and 3,000 slot machines. Also, it has an on-site 14-story hotel with a 300-room capacity that will open in May 2023.

What is the Cowlitz Indian Tribe's Greatest Income Generator?

The federal United States government recognized the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in 2000. It later created a gaming agreement with Washington to allow it to run Las Vegas-style table games and slot machines. The Tribe gradually planned to construct its first casino in the state.

Even so, it wasn't experienced in operating a casino and lacked enough funds to develop the property. This prompted it to approach Mohegan and contract it to gain economic independence. The Mohegan offered the Cowlitz Tribe financial aid to build the ilani Casino Resort which would cost $510 million.

Mohegan later got financing interest and has received 24 percent of the resort's net revenue in the past six years for running it. The casino currently rakes in $300 million in gross gaming revenue. Cowlitz Indian's leaders are confident they can train several people to operate ilani and retain Mohegan's financial share.

The Tribe Appreciates Mohegan's Commitment

The Cowlitz Indian Tribe's leaders appreciated Mohegan for successfully operating their casino since 2017. They thanked the firm for its beneficial partnership and promised to maintain the same performance standards. Surprisingly, Mohegan hasn't commented about their separation but it is willing to continue running the casino well until July 2024.


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