Mohegan Sun Pocono was the first Pennsylvania casino to offer slots to the public, and will be amongst the first to offer a full suite of online casino games as well as virtual poker to Internet patrons.
The casino, however, fumbled the iGaming application process, a mistake which cost them a pretty penny. The operator failed to submit a request for a triple license (online slots, table games, and poker) in the initial window of opportunity, leaving some guessing as to which verticals, if any, the company would offer.
During that time, casinos which did apply paid a reduced price of $10 million to spread the full spectrum of games. While nine eventually submitted applications, Mohegan Sun failed to do so in time.
But during a PGCB meeting, it was announced that the casino had changed its mind, and eventually purchased all three licenses piecemeal for $4 million each, paying $2 million more than it had to.
The operator also decided a bit late to pursue a sports betting license in March of 2019 for another $10 million, and received PGCB approval for this on May 15. Mohegan hopes to have a brick-and-mortar sportsbook operation in place by the fall, in order to take advantage of most of the 2019 NFL season. There are no specifics yet on how far behind that an online option will launch.
Mohegan Sun is uniquely positioned to deliver a strong online product, as it’s one of the only Pennsylvania operators to support a real-money regulated online casino site in another market. MoheganSunCasino.com went live in July of 2015 in New Jersey, under the Resorts Casino license.
MoheganSunCasino.com has proven to be a breath of fresh air in New Jersey, boasting an enormous game library of nearly 500 games spanning multiple formats, a well-conceived and rewarding loyalty program built from the ground up, a worthy mobile product, and a stellar platform provided by top-tier gaming solutions provider NYX Gaming, now part of SG Digital.
In January 2019 Mohegan announced a partnership with the Kindred Group (formerly Unibet) to build its online operations.
Whereas Mohegan Sun plays second fiddle to Resorts in New Jersey, it can take center stage in Pennsylvania. Expect the operator to leverage its three years of experience refining its online product to provide something that at least slightly exceeds its NJ effort, and possibily blows it out of the water.
No-deposit and first-time deposit bonus at Mohegan Sun Online
We expect Mohegan Sun to entice players with a combination of a no-deposit and first-time deposit offer.
The no-deposit bonus will likely consist of a small monetary sum ($10 – $30) that players must playthrough a certain number of times before it clears to their cash wallet. Mohegan Sun NJ currently does not support a no-deposit offer, but it did at launch, and Mohegan PA should as well.
It’s a near certainty that the site will offer a deposit match on first deposits. Players that make their first real-money deposit will likely receive a dollar for dollar match up to a certain amount. For instance, if the offer is a 100% match up to $1,000, players that deposit $500 will receive a $500 bonus, and those that deposit $1,000 will net a cool $1,000 bonus.
The current offer in NJ is just that — a 100% match up to $1,000. Of course players can’t simply cash out the bonus amount. Instead it must be played through 20x on slots or 100x on all other games. That’s a hefty requirement, working out to a 5% cashback rate on slots and just 1% on table games and video poker. We’re hoping Mohegan Sun Casino PA will set the bar lower, at least initially.
Advantages of a Mohegan Sun online casino
- Strong partnership: Mohegan Sun recent new partnership with the Kindred Group to help with its Pennsylvania online gaming plans, as well as its sports betting ambitions. Many had previously expected the operator to again have its platform built by NYX, which has been acquired by Scientific Games, so the move was a surprise to some, but in this new arrangement the site can still host many NYX and SG games while also having access to Kindred’s Unibet experience as well potentially as the Kambi group.
- Experience: Mohegan Sun brings a wealth of experience in the online gambling industry to the table. Not only does it operate an online casino in New Jersey, but it also supports a Play4Fun social casino, powered by Scientific Games. Mohegan Sun will undoubtedly utilize its know-how to create a product that is attractive to players.
- Loyalty program: One area where Mohegan Sun excels is in its online loyalty programs. Both deep and generous, its NJ program features a whopping nine tiers, with each subsequent tier unlocking new and compelling luxuries. Players that climb the ranks are treated to increased cash back rates, discounted and/or complimentary stays at affiliated casinos, exclusive promotional offers, playing devices, VIP gifts, and more. Look for Mohegan Sun PA to adapt a similar program at launch.
What platforms will Mohegan Sun Casino be available for?
It really doesn’t matter how good an online casino is if players don’t have the right tech to play. Luckily, we expect Mohegan Sun online casino to be compatible with myriad computer operating systems and smart devices, right from the word go.
Whether on desktop or laptop, Windows and Mac users should have no trouble gambling it up on Mohegan Sun Online. The software will likely be browser based, so as long as players have a steady Internet connection they should be able to easily connect through any modern browser, be it Google Chrome or Mac Safari.
It is worth noting that players will have to pass a geolocation check before playing for real-money. This is necessary to ensure that players are located in the state of Pennsylvania at the time of play. For devices with Wi-Fi, passing the check should be no problem at all — just download a simple plugin and go. However, hardwired users may have to purchase a Wi-Fi adapter (some online casino sites will give you one for free) before they’re able to be geolocated.
Mohegan Sun PA will likely be available for Android and iOS powered devices. Users won’t need the most recent OS, but the app may not work if device operating systems are more than several versions old. Mobile app players will be able to connect either via Wi-Fi or 4G quite easily.
Mohegan’s mobile app should be a strong representation of the desktop client, the only real difference being that some games won’t make the cut. So instead of having 500 games to chose form, players may only have 300 or 400.
Everything else, including the cashier, promo tabs, and account management features will probably make the transition to mobile. There may even be some mobile exclusive promotions.
Online game selection at Mohegan Sun online casino
One of the biggest strengths of Mohegan Sun’s New Jersey site is its vast game library. New games are rolled out in droves. And while most of the newly-minted titles are slots, Mohegan has embraced table gaming, video poker, and innovative newer formats like Virtual Sports as well.
Mohegan Sun Casino slots
Slot aficionados will likely be very pleased with Mohegan Sun’s selection, which could span as many as 300 titles at launch and quickly expand to 500 slots and beyond. Penny slots will dominate the scene, but there should be at least a few jackpot slots, like Divine Fortune, as well.
And we’re also hopeful that there will be more than a handful of exclusives.
Popular titles may include:
- Foxin’ Wins
- 88 Fortunes
- Planet of the Apes
- Jackpot Inferno
- Lock it Link Night Life
- Hercules High & Mighty
We are mildly concerned about the returns on slots. Pennsylvania will tax online slots at an otherworldly 54%, which may lead some operators to negotiate lower returns for their games, to help offset the high cost of operation.
Blackjack at Mohegan Sun Casino
Players who frequent PA land-based casinos know how good the blackjack games are. We’re talking a house edge of less than 0.4%.
Online blackjack games should be nearly as good, and can be played for a much lower minimum bet. How low? On Mohegan Sun online casino in New Jersey, hands can be played for as little as $0.10. There’s no reason to believe the operator’s PA site won’t offer the same favorable bet minimum.
As far as rules, these should be par for the course, regardless of what blackjack variant you play:
- 3:2 payout on blackjacks
- Double down on any two cards
- Double after split
- Dealer stand on soft 17
- Anywhere from 4-8 decks in the virtual shoe
Some variants will do even better, offering resplits and surrender. We may even see side bets like those featured at Mohegan Sun Pocono, such as Lucky Ladies and Match the Dealer.
Playing roulette at Mohegan Sun
Roulette is another popular table game that should show up in several forms on Mohegan Sun Online. American (double zero) Roulette should be available for as little as $1 (or possibly less) per spin, as opposed to $10 – $15 at most land-based facilities. European (single zero) Roulette will also be supported, providing players with a low house edge alternative that they typically won’t find at brick & mortar casinos.
Not to mention, most online roulette games will have options that allow for quick and easy betting — no trying to jump over 15 other players to get that bet down on 0.
Alternative variants, such as Double Bonus Spin Roulette should also be available. Double and triple ring games are typically only offered online.
Mohegan Sun video poker
Mohegan Sun Pocono is not known for its favorable video poker returns, but the online site will do better. How much better is sort of an open question, but we’re suspecting that single line games will return at least 98% with optimal play and multi-line variants 97%+.
Featured games will include:
- Jacks or Better
- Bonus Poker
- Double Bonus Poker
- Double Double Bonus Poker
- Deuces Wild
Unfortunately we haven’t seen too many alternative format video poker games in US regulated markets to date, but as the months pass we’re hoping online sites, Mohegan Sun PA included, add popular variants such as Ultimate X and Super Times Pay.
Other games at Mohegan Sun
There’s a few options here, and we’ll list them in what we feel is the likelihood they’ll show up at Mohegan Sun online casino:
- Three Card Poker
- Let it Ride
- Virtual Sports
- Live Dealer
- Pai Gow/Caribbean Stud and other carnival games
We’re basing our assumptions on the games supported by Mohegan’s NJ site, which has featured Three Card Poker and Let it Ride from the get, and added Virtual Sports and Scratchers recently.
Craps, Live Dealer, and other table games are not supported by Mohegan Sun, but they are available on other NJ sites. It wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for Mohegan Sun PA to integrate some or all of these options.
What will Mohegan Sun online casino’s loyalty scheme look like?
In all likelihood, Mohegan Sun Online in PA will model its rewards program after its highly innovative Elevate Rewards scheme, currently featured in the NJ market.
Players will earn Elevate Points (EP) on all slot, video poker, and table game play, with point distributions broken down something like this:
- 1 EP per $1 wagered on slots
- 1 EP per $4 wagered on blackjack and video poker
- 1 EP for every $8 bet on roulette
Elevate Points will apply to a player’s monthly tier, broken out as follows:
- Storm: everyone starts here
- Thunder: 1,000 EPs
- Lightning: 5,000 EPs
- Spark: 20,000 EPs
- Flash: 50,000 EPs
- Flare: 150k EPs
- Wildrife: 400k EPs
- Heat: 1 million EPs
- Blaze: 2 million EPs
A player’s tier will determine what amenities they have coming their way. For instance, while a Flash tier player might receive discounted hotel stays at Mohegan Sun hotels, and comped entertainment at Mohegan Sun Pocono , a Heat player will receive that plus exclusive online and live promotional offers, a playing device, VIP loyalty gifts and much more.
In addition, higher tier players will be entitled to better cashback rates on their converted Elevate Points.
Another perk Mohegan Sun may offer is a loyalty acceleration program whereby players that have an existing account at any regulated casino in PA will be automatically upgraded to Spark.
Of course, all of this is somewhat speculatory, although it is difficult to see Mohegan Sun going a better route.
Depositing and withdrawing at Mohegan Sun Online
Processing transactions on US regulated online casino sites is easier than ever before. Players on Mohegan Sun online casino will have a wealth of viable and speedy depositing options at their disposal, including at least some of the following:
- VIP Preferred ACH/eCheck
- MasterCard/Visa credit and debit card
- Online banking transfers
- Mohegan Sun prepaid card
- 7-Eleven Pay with Cash
- Cash at the Mohegan Sun Pocono casino cage
Most of these options boast very high acceptance rates. The issuing banks for a few credit card companies still do not accept online casino transactions, but even they’re expected to come on board as online gambling is more widely accepted.
Customer service at Mohegan Sun PA
No matter how reputable the online gambling site, questions and concerns will arise from time to time. To facilitate the process of resolving any potential problems, Mohegan Sun PA will offer myriad customer support channels.
In addition to an extensive FAQ page, the site will offer:
- Live chat support, possibly around the clock but at least during peak hours
- Email support, likely 24/7
- Phone support, for those tough questions
More about Mohegan Sun Pocono
Mohegan Sun Pocono is just one of two full-service casinos located in the popular tourist area of the Poconos. Its story dates back to January 2005, when the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut acquired the old Pocono Downs racetrack for $280 million from Penn National Gaming.
Mohegan immediate planned an ambitious expansion project to convert the facility into a racino, made possible by 2004 legislation permitting existing horse racing facilities to obtain a Category 1 license. The experienced casino operator — Mohegan has owned and operated a mega-casino in CT since 1996 — quickly went to work, and in November 2006 the newly-rebranded Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs became the first slots casino in Pennsylvania.
Since, the facility has undergone two major expansions. In January 2010, legislation was passed legalizing table games. This was not an opportunity Mohegan Sun was about to miss out on. The facility began supporting table games just months later, in July 2010.
Then in November 2013, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs opened a 238-room luxury hotel and a 20,000 sq-ft convention center, cementing its status as a full-service casino.
Today the newly rebranded Mohegan Sun Pocono is a top-flight Pennsylvania casino, home to 83,000 sq-ft of gaming space, more than 2,300 slots, 90 table games, and a host of shopping, nightlife, and entertainment options. Its selection of eateries is particularly impressive, numbering 19 in total now that the Electric City Roasting Co. and Molly O’Sheas Pub are open for business.
Mohegan Sun’s ambitions have clearly paid off. As of 2017 it was the states sixth biggest money maker, generating over $246 million gross gaming revenue.
Mohegan Sun Pocono certainly had cause to celebrate when PA lawmakers passed online gambling legislation in October 2017. The tribe now seems to be going all-in on the industry, just as it did in conjunction with Resorts Casino in New Jersey.
Assuming a partnership with SG Digital, Mohegan Sun Online will play host to one of the largest online game selections this side of the Mississippi. The user interface and mobile product won’t be too shabby either, far from it.
That being said, we are somewhat concerned about how much value Mohegan Sun will offer to players, especially those who frequent slots. But in so long as the site rolls out a strong loyalty program, like its Elevate Rewards in New Jersey, player appetites should be satiated.
Does Mohegan Sun have any chance of becoming one of the three best online casinos in Pennsylvania? That’s a tough question to answer, but given the operator’s experience, its online partnerships, and reputation in the land-based casino scene, it’s certainly a possibility.
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