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Mohegan tribes opens latest casino in their quiver

Casino of the Wind opened with all due pomp and ceremony. Mogehan Chairman Bruce “Two Dogs” Bozsum did the smudging and prayer and with a few speeches, the 100-foot-long curtain was lifted from the casino entrance to accompanying drums and flashing lights.

The opening of the casino completed the first phase of a $925 million expansion plan. Completion of the development is expected to be in 2010 with the addition of a 39-story hotel. The hotel will have 261 rooms, a music hall and restaurant for the exclusive use of guests and an additional retail space with restaurant for public use.

Mohegan Sun closed poker games at their casinos 5 years ago and has reintroduced poker with the opening of the Casino of the Wind. The 5 year pause in poker at the Mohegan Sun casinos has given Foxwoods Resort Casino, Mohegan’s competitor the edge. Poker has of course since exploded on the scene and Mohegan Sun do not want to be left out of the runnings.

Casino of the Wind has 64,000 square foot under roof and a full 45,000 square feet thereof is dedicated to poker. The poker facility boasts 42 tables with a 7 high stakes tables. The casino also has 650 new slot machines and 28 table games. The high cost of fuel has also brought more locals like Bruce Harding and his wife to the casino, they used to go to Vegas but the cost has become prohibitive.

Native themes and the spirit of the four winds predominates the design of the casino. A 35-foot high by 50-foot wide water wall made of granite is hands down the most spectacular feature at the casino. Although the economy is not too bright at the moment, Bozsum said that they want to be ready when the economy recovers.

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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