'Sun' to rise over Resorts

It won't be made official until Tuesday afternoon, but Connecticut-based Mohegan Sun Tribal Authority is going to be minding the store at Resorts Casino-Hotel.

Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the deal have confirmed that Mohegan Sun’s management team will assume administration of all business functions at the nation’s oldest legal gambling den east of Nevada.

Tuesday’s announcement will end months of speculation about the short-term future of Resorts—a future that has been murky since the sudden, late-February death of the property’s co-owner and CEO, Dennis Gomes who, with investor Morris Bailey, bought the historic casino-hotel in late 2010.

Earlier this year, it was rumored that Philadelphia’s SugarHouse casino was going to take over business operations at Resorts. But last week’s announcement that singer Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville brand was coming to Resorts made Mohegan Sun a possible player; the company’s flagship casino is Uncasville, Conn. already boasts a Margaritaville Café.

In addition to its Connecticut casino, Mohegan Sun runs Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs a casino and racetrack in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Details of the deal will likely be unveiled at Tuesday afternoon’s press event, but it is expected that most behind-the-scenes functions--among them marketing, accounting and procurement--will be assumed by Mohegan Sun’s management team. What that means for current Resorts executives up to and including Gomes’ son, Aaron, who serves as the gaming hall's executive vice president of operations, remains to be seen.

Also to be determined is whether the casino, which opened May 26, 1978, will be rebranded as a Mohegan Sun property, or if the agreement is limited to backstage operations.