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Report: Indian tribe to manage Resorts in AC

August 6, 2012
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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—The owners of Resorts Casino Hotel, Atlantic City's first casino, are poised to hand over management to the Indian tribe that operates the Mohegan Sun casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, according to a published report.

The Press of Atlantic City, cited several unidentified people familiar with the deal, reported on its website Monday ( http://bit.ly/MohaOu) that Mohegan Sun will become the new operator of Resorts.

Resorts, which scheduled a news conference Tuesday on what it calls "an exciting new partnership," declined comment on the report. But casino officials had previously acknowledged they had discussed turning the casino over to new management.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, parent company of the two Mohegan casinos, has expressed interested in expanding into the Atlantic City market, and last month announced it was establishing a venture to pursue management contracts and consulting agreements for casino businesses. Messages seeking comment on the Atlantic City report were not returned.

The tribal authority last month reported that third-quarter profit plunged more than two-thirds, citing increased competition from new casinos in the Northeast, particularly New York's Aqueduct racino.

In May, it announced its first deal to expand its business -- a partnership to develop a gambling and racing resort in New York's Catskill Mountains.

Resorts opened in May 1978, the first outside of Nevada.

It was purchased in December 2010 by Dennis Gomes and Morris Bailey for $31.5 million. Since Gomes died in February, his son, Aaron, has been helping to run the resort.

The new owners had rebranded Resorts in a roaring `20s theme to capitalize on the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" about Prohibition-era Atlantic City. But last month the operators announced a partnership with Jimmy Buffett for the development of one of his Margaritaville-branded entertainment complexes at Resorts.

Revenue at Resorts was down 7 percent in June as the casino industry continued looking to the new Revel casino to help break Atlantic City out of a long slump. Atlantic City has seen its casino revenues decline steadily since the onset of casino gambling in Pennsylvania in November 2006.

Revenue figures for July are due out Friday.

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