September 12, 2017

Mohegan parent names new CEO

Mario Kontomerkos

[This story has been updated.]

The parent of Mohegan Sun on Tuesday named an insider as its new CEO.

Mario Kontomerkos will take over the top job of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment (MGE) starting Oct. 16. He will be responsible for overseeing all day-to-day operations for the tribe, which operates multiple casinos and other ventures.

Kontomerkos was formerly MGE's CFO since 2011. He replaces Bobby Soper, who resigned suddenly earlier this year.

"Mario has, in his role as chief financial officer, actively supported Mohegan's development of new opportunities in the United States and abroad," said Kevin Brown "Red Eagle", chairman of the Mohegan Tribe and MGE management board. "Mario's knowledge and experience has kept us disciplined in our financial approach, competitive in the gaming and entertainment industry, and always cognizant of a business and management approach aligned with our Tribal Culture and the Mohegan Way."

Prior to his work with MGE, Kontomerkos's career path evolved through various financial, research and analytical roles with companies like Penn National Gaming, Magnetar Capital LLC, J.P. Morgan Securities, Lehman Brothers and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. Kontomerkos' experience also includes service as a consultant for TPG Capital LLC on the acquisition of Harrah's Entertainment, the largest leveraged buyout in the history of the gaming industry.

Kontomerkos told the Hartford Business Journal Tuesday that relationship building, continuing to diversify revenue streams and maintaining a strong balance sheet are his top priorities.

"The chief objective is really to expand the brand internationally in a diversified way and that we do it the Mohegan Way. It's our way of doing business, treating our partners, guests and employees in a cooperative and welcoming way that fosters a long-term relationship. That's very important to our tribe."

The diversified revenue streams MGE targets include all the attractions that make the Mohegan Sun and other casinos it is involved in "integrated resorts" -- hotels, entertainment, food and beverage offerings and meetings and convention business, he said.

"If there's new competition that eats into the gaming revenue we're going to more than replace it with non-gaming revenue," he said.

Foxwoods Resort Casino, Twin River in Lincoln, R.I., and the new MGM Springfield casino set to open next year are all competitors to watch, he said. He noted that the planned East Windsor satellite casino pursued with Foxwoods owners the Manshantucket Pequot tribe could break ground in nine months.

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