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Mohegan Gaming Advisors Takes Over Casino Management

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Amidst financial pressure from increased competition and slower consumer spending, Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA)—the parent company of the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Plains Township, Pennsylvania—formally announced its new venture Mohegan Gaming Advisors (MGA), reported The Wall Street Journal.

MGA will pursue management contracts and consulting agreements—such as marketing, human resources, expansion advice and spending issues—for casino and entertainment businesses.

The advisors group was formed months ago and linked to the departure of Mitchell Grossinger Etess, former president and chief executive officer of Mohegan Sun, who left his post to concentrate on other ventures as chief executive of the MTGA, reported The Day.

Previously, the authority handled contracts, including the agreement with Westchester, New York-based developer Louis Cappelli to develop the Mohegan Sun Concord in the New York Catskill's region to be managed by MGA. In May, the authority partnered with Concord Associates to develop the $600 million casino and racing facility slated to open by spring 2013 on the site of the historic Concord Hotel—a premiere destination from the 1950s and 1960s that was shut down in 1998 and demolished in 2008, according to the Associated Press.

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"Going forward, MGA will be responsible for any management contracts we have, including those projects we're already involved with," Etess told The Day Thursday in a phone interview. "This release today is about us getting our name out there and getting additional management contracts."

Etess told The Day that the authority held off announcing MGA's launch until a website and certain marketing materials were ready.

Other projects now falling under MGA's domain include Mohegans' partnership with the Cowlitz Tribe, which plans to build a $510 million casino in Washington State, reported The Day. While the federal government approved the Cowlitz' acquisition of 152 acres for the project last December, the approval has been challenged in federal court.

"We would help the Cowlitz build and manage the project when that litigation is successfully completed," Etess told The Day. "We've said that should be in 12 to 18 months."

MGA would also take charge of Mohegans' plans to for a non-Indian casino in Palmer, Massachusetts. Banking on the state legalizing casinos, the gaming authority previously sought a gaming license in Massachusetts and optioned property in Palmer, reported