UNCASVILLE, CT – After a comprehensive process, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) announced today their succession plan for retiring casino veteran Mitchell Grossinger Etess. Effective March 30th, Robert J. Soper (“Bobby”) will assume the position of President of MTGA and will oversee all day-to-day operations of The Authority.
Additionally, Ray Pineault will transition to President & General Manager of the flagship property, Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Thomas P. Burke, who has over 35 years of experience in gaming operations throughout the United States and is currently the acting President of Mohegan Gaming Advisors (MGA), will now serve as Chief Operating Officer of MTGA. In this newly created position, he will oversee operations of all MTGA owned and managed properties.
“The Tribal Council and the Mohegan people are extremely proud of the announcements we are making today for several reasons,” said Kevin “Red Eagle” Brown, Chairman of the Mohegan Tribe. “Not only are we proud to present the best executive management team in the business, one that will ensure that we remain best in class as we continue to grow our business, we are doubly proud to say that the new team positions Tribal members in two critical roles.”
“Having served as General Manager of both our Connecticut and Pennsylvania properties, Bobby has continuously proven his progressive leadership style, combined with his energetic spirit and dedication to our employees and guest service – ultimately making him the natural choice for this position,” said Mitchell Etess, Chief Executive Officer for MTGA. “I could not be prouder or feel better about having him in line to succeed me.”
Etess will retain the role of Chief Executive Officer of MTGA through the transition until fall 2015.
“I am beyond honored and deeply humbled to accept the position of President of MTGA,” said Bobby Soper, President & Chief Executive Officer for Mohegan Sun. “To follow in the footsteps of two empowering leaders such as Mitchell Etess and Bill Velardo who are the sole predecessors of this position will be no small feat. Their imprint will be everlasting on this organization and I can only hope to apply the wisdom and guidance I received from both men and to continue their legacies in leading this company forward.”
Collectively, Soper, Pineault and Burke bring more than 65 years of experience within the gaming and legal industries.
With regard to the new President & General Manager of Mohegan Sun, Etess said, “When you combine Ray’s previous professional experience, along with the nearly 10 years of performance in gaming operations here, he is more than prepared for this role.”
He added that, “Tom’s three decades of experience in the industry throughout the country provides a unique dimension for current and future properties.”
Chairman Brown went on to add that, “Consistent with the goal of the Indian Gaming Act, our mission when we opened in 1996 was to have Tribal members gain the education and experience to run the family business one day. Today is a perfect demonstration of those goals being achieved.”
Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, who in addition to serving as U.S. Senator, was a three-term U.S. Representative, Olympic athlete and is a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, praised the announcement stating, “I am gratified that the Mohegan Tribe is placing individual tribal members at the top of its gaming management structures. This is an important achievement for Indian self-determination and tribal self-governance, and fulfills one of the goals I, along with the late Dan Inouye and others shared when Congress enacted the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and the 1994 Mohegan land settlement act.”
For headshots for Soper, Pineault and Burke, visit http://newsroom.mtga.com/.
About the Authority: The Authority is an instrumentality of the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, or the Tribe, a federally-recognized Indian Tribe with an approximately 544-acre reservation situated in southeastern Connecticut. The Authority has been granted the exclusive authority to conduct and regulate gaming activities on the existing reservation of the Tribe, including the operation of Mohegan Sun, a gaming and entertainment complex located on a 185-acre site on the Tribe’s reservation. Through its subsidiary, Downs Racing, L.P., the Authority also owns and operates Mohegan Sun Pocono, a gaming and entertainment facility located on a 400-acre site in Plains Township, Pennsylvania. MTGA also manages Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City. More information about the Authority and its properties can be obtained by visiting www.mohegansun.com, www.mohegansunpocono.com, www.resortsac.com or www.mtga.com.