Owned by the Mohegan Tribe and managed by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Mohegan Sun is a premier entertainment, meeting, shopping and gaming destination, with three casinos; over 40 restaurants, bars and lounges; three entertainment venues including a 10,000-seat Arena, a 350-seat Wolf Den and an upscale, edgy comedy club plus two luxury hotel towers with a total of 1,563 rooms. We chose to implement this 'governmental gaming' as a source of tax revenue, much like a state chooses gaming or lotteries to enhance its tax base.
A Native American tribe's ability to access the resources available through gaming is vastly different from commercial gaming or even that of a state. A very special relationship exists between a federally recognized Indian tribe and the United States. This relationship is granted in Article 1, Section 8 of the United States Constitution and has been repeatedly upheld by the United States Supreme Court. As such, it is the federal government and tribes, unless other agreements have been made with a state, which regulate and oversee all gaming operations.
To develop its gaming operations, the Tribe followed a complex and structured process very clearly defined in the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) passed by Congress in 1988. This federal law also establishes the restrictions regarding how a tribal government must use resources derived from gaming. Revenues from Mohegan Sun enabled us to reduce our dependency on federal funding. In 1997, we returned $2.2 million to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. We turn back our allotted portion of federal funds to be redistributed to other Indian nations. In addition, both Mohegan Sun and the state's other Indian casino in giving 25% of all slot revenues to the State, represent the state of Connecticut's single largest source of revenue other than the federal government.