Mohegan to power Soloviev Group’s downstate New York casino bid

Mohegan Gaming sign
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Solviev Group has announced that Mohegan Gaming has joined its bid as a casino operating partner of Freedom Plaza as it seeks to obtain one of three downstate New York casino licenses. 

Responding to the New York State Gaming Commission’s (NYSGC) Request for Application for the licenses available, Solviev Group has formally introduced Mohegan as the operator of its proposed casino.

Branding its proposal as a socially responsible development, Solviev has noted that the Freedom Plaza will be the “world’s first museum dedicated to the celebration of freedom and democracy.” 

The development would feature, as well as a casino, a performance venue, a Ferris Wheel, an over 1000-room hotel, and two residential towers. 

Located between the 34th Street ferry and Grand Central Station, the plaza is projected to create thousands of jobs throughout the construction process and operations and further add to the local economy with ‘millions’ in tax revenue.

“As a leader in socially responsible development, we will honor, complement and advance Mohegan’s principles through sustainable and carbon-neutral property development,” said Stefan Soloviev, Chairman of Soloviev Group. 

“This strategic partnership will not only ensure that Freedom Plaza will be ethically developed, but provide long-term economic prosperity for the local community, a positive impression on regional and international tourism, and a lasting impact on New York City for generations to come.”

Mohegan has a long tradition of operating casinos, with its flagship Mohegan Sun venue in Connecticut being one of the largest casinos in the world. 

Operating casinos for over 25 years, Mohegan offered the provisions of its services to the Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara in Canada, showing a glimpse of what the NYC proposals would look like. 

“Mohegan is known for the wide array of extraordinary experiences and exceptional service we provide our guests – but it is truly our culture, values, and commitment to our community that set us apart as an organization,” noted Ray Pineault, CEO and President of Mohegan. 

“Our rich Mohegan heritage provides the foundation for how we operate our business and guides our commitment to our employees, our approach to guest services, and our relationship with partners and the communities in which we operate and serve. We look forward to infusing our “Spirit of Aquai,” our guiding philosophy, into New York State.”

The process to gain one of the three licenses available is currently underway, with the NYSGC board accepting proposals.

Whilst no specific deadline for proposals has been set, prospective licensees have until Friday to submit any questions regarding the process.

Each licensee would have to stump up at least $1bn to obtain approval, with a $500m licensing fee twinned with an additional $500m of minimum capital investment. 

Other groups to throw their hat in the ring include Caesar’s Entertainment, Saks Fifth Avenue, MGM Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, Bet on Games Holdings, Wynn Resorts, and a group consisting of Saratoga Casino Holdings, the Chickasaw Nation’s Global Gaming Solutions, and Legends Global Planning.