Mohegan — Mohegan Sun has reached an agreement with Las Vegas-based Bally Technologies to provide customers with access to free online poker.
"It's important," Mitchell Etess, chief executive officer of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, said. "We're going to have a free-play poker site up and running by the end of the year. We'll be in a good position to go live with video poker if it becomes legal."
Most observers believe the federal or state governments will approve online gaming at some point.
"It's more about when and how than if," Etess said. "We want to be prepared."
Under the agreement, Bally Technologies, a gaming-technology leader that's developed a growing portfolio of online gaming sites for casino operators, will provide its iGaming platform to Mohegan Sun and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., enabling customers to play online poker without wagering money.
The play-for-free model will be available at www.mohegansun.com and at www.poconodowns.com.
Mohegan Sun chose Bally's after a six-month review process.
"Our goal is always to provide our guests with the best gaming and entertainment offerings and we believe iGaming is the next step in fulfilling the demand for regulated online play when customers aren't able to be on property," Etess said, adding that the Mohegan authority hopes the new offering will drive new business to its casinos.
The iGaming platform is designed for mobile integration and is ready to accommodate online gaming beyond poker, such as casino table games, video slots and sports betting, in the event such gaming becomes legal.