The sun also rises at Mohegan Sun, a gaming and entertainment complex run by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority for the Mohegan Indian tribe of Connecticut. The Native American-themed Mohegan Sun complex includes three casinos (Casino of the Earth, Casino of the Sky, and Casino of the Wind) that feature slot machines, game tables, horse race wagering, an arena, a cabaret, stores, restaurants, and a luxury hotel. The company also owns Pocono Downs, a horse racetrack in Pennsylvania. Gambling revenues go to the Mohegan Tribe, and are used for cultural and educational programs. The tribe has lived as a community for hundreds of years in what is today southeastern Connecticut, and has about 1,900 members.
In addition to operating casinos and hotels, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority also owns the Connecticut Sun WNBA basketball team. The company has an added benefit from Connecticut Sun ticket sales, as the team plays its home games in the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Mohegan Sun also owns the Mohegan Sun Country Club in Connecticut, and it has formed a venture to pursue potential gaming opportunities in Massachusetts, should that state pass legislation to legalize gambling. Other operations include subsidiaries that plan to assist the Cowlitz Indian Tribe of Washington and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin to open and/or manage casinos.
The tribes' are still working on development of new casinos, despite a weak tourism market. It's no secret that the leisure industry has been hit hard as people pinch pennies during the prolonged recession, and as a result Mohegan Tribal's revenues and net income have been flat in recent years. The company has claimed about $1.4 billion in revenue during fiscal 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Stagnant earnings have caused the company to put on hold a renovation project at Mohegan Sun called Project Horizon -- including hotel, retail, and new parking garage elements.
The company has been affected by increased competition in the area. Its Mohegan Sun targets visitors located within several hours driving distance. The property is approximately 125 miles from New York City and about 100 miles from Boston. The legalization or expansion of gaming in New England, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania gives area gamblers a glut of options (such as the nearby Foxwoods, owned by the Mashantucket Pequot, and several Atlantic City casinos, including those from Trump Resorts). – less