Introduction

Mohegan Sun Pocono is a large casino and live harness racing track located in Wilkes-Barre (Plains Township), PA in the Poconos. The property also includes a fourn-star hotel with a heated indoor pool, spa, dining, shopping, and an entertainment complex.

The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority is a federally-recognized Indian tribe whose reservation in Southeastern Connecticut near the town of Uncasville is home to the original Mohegan Sun Casino.

In November, 2005, the Mohegan tribe also acquired ownership of Downs Racing, a harness racing track in Plains Township, PA. At that time, it received permission to own and operate a second casino gambling and entertainment facility on the same site. The new racino was named Mohegan Sun Pocono. Wasting no time, on November 14, 2005, Mohegan Sun Pocono held its official grand opening and became the first legal land-based casino in Pennsylvania. From the jump, Mohegan Sun Pocono was a 24/7 gambling facility.

In 2012, Mohegan Sun Tribal Authority partnered with Atlantic City’s oldest land-based casino, Resorts, to become its new manager. What this means for Mohegan Sun casino players is that, in addition to the pooling of loyalty rewards earned at the two Mohegan Sun Casinos (Pennsylvania and Connecticut), you now have a third place to redeem these rewards, Resorts Casino in Atlantic City.

Resort overview

Today the sprawling property known as Mohegan Sun Pocono occupies 400 acres and 82,000 square feet of gaming space. The only possible problem for a gambler at this place is deciding which game. The seemingly impossible choice includes more than 2,300 slot machines, more than 90 table games, and an 18-table poker room, plus live and simulcast horseracing.

Guests wishing to stay overnight or longer don’t have to bother leaving the facility to look for accommodations since there is a 268 room, four-star hotel right on the property. In addition, steps away from the gaming action, visitors can take their pick of numerous dining and beverage outlets as well as enjoy such amenities as shopping, swimming, a spa and fitness center, and varied live entertainment.

Mohegan Sun Pocono is easily accessible by car from Philadelphia, New York, New Jersey, and Delaware. Complimentary parking is provided for 5,000 vehicles.

Alternatively, there are daily arrivals and departures by bus serving multiple markets. The facility is also less than 10 miles from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre International Airport.

Accommodations

The accommodations for guests wishing to stay at the four-star hotel on the property range from standard rooms to spacious suites. All rooms and suites come with the following amenities:

    • Plush bedding
    • Smart TV with bill review and check out accessibility
    • iPad mini for in-room dining ordering
    • Working desk area
    • One or two lounge chairs

The suites also include a coffee maker. All hotel guests also have access to the indoor heated swimming pol, business center, spa, and fitness center.

The standard rooms are fairly small, 328 square feet for a room with one king-size bed or 354 square feet for two queen-size beds. Guests who prefer and don’t mind spending more for larger accommodations can choose a King Suite (484 square feet) or a King or Queen Bay Suite (824 square feet) with a separate bedroom. The Bay Suites also offer an extra sofa bed and 1 ½ bathrooms.

Rates vary depending on the season, day of the week, and demand. Weekday room prices start at about $139 and run over $200/night on Friday and Saturday, except for the winter when prices are substantially less and weekday rooms are usually only $96/night and weekend rooms are about $150.

Hotel packages and alternative options

The following special packages are also available:

Preferred Suites offer

Book a suite for two or more nights and receive 15 percent off.

American Express complimentary room offer

Book a four-night stay at Mohegan Sun Pocono using your American Express card and receive the fourth night free.

Another option is to book accommodations at a nearby hotel. Among the possibilities are these partner hotels:

  • Woodlands Inn
  • Holiday Inn Wilkes-Barre East Mountain
  • Fairfield Inn & Suites

Keep in mind, too, that based on your play, you may also qualify for a discounted or complimentary room at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Dining and entertainment

Regardless of whether you visit Mohegan Sun Pocono just for the day or evening or for overnight or longer, finding a suitable place to eat is never a problem. The numerous food and beverage outlets throughout the property offer everything from a quick snack to an elaborate gourmet meal. The full service dining options include the following:

Bar Louie

Winner of Restaurant Hospitality’s “Concept of Tomorrow,” award, this casual restaurant and bar is open weekdays from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and weekends from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. The menu offers a variety of sandwiches, burgers, and other reasonably priced bar food items. There is live entertainment Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.

Bargain seekers can take advantage of a special weekday $8 lunch menu offering both an entrée and a beverage for $8, or for $5 more, get an appetizer too. On Tuesday from 4 p.m. till closing, it is Dollar Burger Night.

Johnny Rockets

This branch of the popular national chain is open daily for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Pacer’s Clubhouse Restaurant

This restaurant overlooking the harness racing track, features a TV at every table. It is open for dinner on live racing nights.

Rustic Kitchen Bistro and Bar

Rustic Kitchen has an Italian-Mediterranean menu. Guests have a choice of intimate dining in a private corner or grabbing a quick pizza in the Bar Café. The kitchen is open from 11:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. Sunday-Tuesday and from 11:30 a.m. until 11 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday.

Rustic Kitchen is also the setting for a live cooking show called “In the Kitchen” Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. The price is $60-$70, and reservations are required and paid for in advance by calling 1-570-824-6600. Guests are asked to arrive by 6:30 p.m.

Ruth Chris Steakhouse

This popular steakhouse chain is open daily for lunch and dinner with live music Tuesday and Wednesday evening.

Timber Buffet

This 300-seat buffet with displays of tribal history and culture is open daily. Hours of operation, meals, and prices are as follows:

  • Monday-Wednesday, Friday 11.am.-3 p.m: Lunch $15.99
  • Thursday 11 a.m.-4 p.m.: Lunch $15.99
  • Thursday 4-8 p.m: Dinner $19.99
  • Sunday 3-8 p.m.: Dinner $19.99
  • Friday 4-9 p.m.: Dinner $24.99
  • Sat. 3-9 p.m.: Special Menu
  • Saturday-Sunday 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: Brunch $19.99

Special reduced pricing is available for children age 10 and under.

Ben & Jerry’s

Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 11 a.m.- 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Betty & Joe’s

This place is open all day until 11 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 24/7 the rest of the week. Betty & Joe’s s offers coffee and tea (many varieties) and homemade baked goods.

Elixir

This eatery, conveniently located near the hotel lobby, is open Sunday-Thursday from 6:30 a.m. to midnight and Friday and Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.. Starbucks coffee is available anytime. Grab and go breakfast items are offered in the morning, while the limited lunch and dinner menu offers items like sandwiches, salads, chicken fingers, and pizza.

Pearl Sushi Bar

Pearl offers unique martinis and sushi in an intimate, contemporary setting. Drinks are half-priced during Happy Hour, 5-7 p.m.

Wetzel’s Pretzels

This place is open 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and till 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Winner’s Circle

This eatery, open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and until midnight Friday and Saturday, is the perfect place to take a break from watching the races to grab a burger, hot dog, pizza, chicken fingers, or wings. Each day of the week, there is a different special, such as a slice of pizza for $1 on Sunday and a certain entrée item with fries on other days for $5 or $6.

Wolfgang Puck Express

Orders are placed at the counter and food is delivered to one’s table in a few minutes. Breakfast is served daily 8:30-10:30 a.m. The all-day menu includes soups, salads, sandwiches, gourmet pizza, and pasta. Happy Hour is between 6 and 8 p.m. daily, when patrons receive $1 off on all drinks.

Wok 8

This restaurant, open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and till midnight Friday and Saturday, features inexpensive Asian-inspired stir-fry dishes.

There is also no shortage of live entertainment at Mohegan Sun Pocono. Local bands perform every weekend at Bar Louie and at another bar called Breakers. Thursday night is Karaoke Night. The designated Happy Hours are 5-7 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7-9 p.m. Saturday. All drinks are half price. Sports fans can watch their favorite teams on TV, while poker players will love another added feature at Breakers, the opportunity to play online poker. Breakers stays open till midnight Sunday-Thursday and till 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Additional entertainment options consist of the following:

Big-name performers

Performers such as Tracy Morgan, Montgomery Gentry, The Fray, and KC & the Sunshine Band can be seen at the Keystone Grand Ballroom. In addition, the 8,300 seat Mohegan Sun Arena hosts the home games of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (of the American Hockey League) along with some of the biggest acts in music.

Party on the Patio

Live entertainment and drink specials on the patio Thursday evenings during the summer.

Signature events

Through the Mohegan Sun’s special Signings and Sightings program, guests have the rare opportunity to meet some of their favorite authors, musicians, and reality TV stars.

Casino security

Who can play in the casino?

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board PGCB, rather than the individual casinos and racetracks, has the authority to set the minimum age for gambling in the State of Pennsylvania, which is 21 for casino gambling and 18 for gambling on horse races. Accordingly, at Mohegan Sun Pocono, no one under age 21 is allowed on the casino floor. Minors, accompanied by an adult, are permitted in the racetrack area, but only those age 18 and older are legally allowed to wager.

Security and fairness

All of the 12 currently operating legal brick and mortar casinos in the State of Pennsylvania, including Mohegan Sun Pocono, are subject to the rules and regulations of the PGCB. Mohegan Sun Pocono, like its competitors, is closely monitored to ensure that it acts responsibly in all aspects of its operation and continues to meet this agency’s strict standards for security and fairness.

Casino games

Mohegan Sun Pocono is a full-service casino in every sense of the word. Whether your preferences run to slots, video poker, traditional casino table games, or poker, this is a place where you will have no trouble finding games to your liking. This popular gambling mecca is also a racino, so whenever you feel like taking a break from the slots or tables, additional action and excitement await you with live and simulcast racing.

Slots

If you are a slot player, you will be right in your element at Mohegan Sun Pocono. If you have any problem at all, it will be in deciding what to play first out of more than 2,300 slot machines in denominations ranging from one cent to $100, incorporating the latest cutting edge technology.

This casino offers everything from familiar favorites to the latest variations of these popular games to some of the newest slots on the market. All of the Mohegan Sun slot machines use coinless ticket-in and ticket-out technology.

Some of the featured games include:

  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Triple Red Hot 777
  • Monopoly
  • Hot Shot Progressives
  • Dragon Spin
  • Hot Hot 8 Bier Haus
  • Hot Shot Twin Fire
  • Playboy Club
  • 88 Fortunes
  • Grand Dragon
  • Panda King
  • Britney Spears

If only the slots paid better

Some slot players complain about the smell of smoke. But judging by the infrequency of such complaints on review sites for this casino compared to other Pennsylvania casinos, Mohegan Sun may be doing a better job keeping the smell of smoke out of the nonsmoking areas of the casino. That is not to say, that there is not still room for improvement.

That being said, Mohegan Sun slot players complain vociferously about the machines being too tight. It really doesn’t matter which casino one chooses, though. Slot players are uniformly saying that the slot payouts fall far short of their expectations all across Pennsylvania.

It is not their imagination or a temporary run of bad luck that leads players to say it is tough for a slot player to win in Pennsylvania. It really is tougher than in many other states because the average return to the player (RTP) is only 88-90 percent.

According to the regulations of the PGCB, a Pennsylvania casino would be in compliance with a slot payout of only 85 percent. The average payouts (for all slot machines combined) are better than the minimum at all of the Pennsylvania casinos, but not a whole lot better.

You might improve your chances somewhat by avoiding penny slot machines and playing a higher denomination machine with a better RTP. Also, keep your sessions short. If you are winning, make sure you leave a winner before you give the machine a chance to take back all of your winnings and more. If you are losing, set a limit on your losses and settle for coming back another time when maybe your luck will be better.

Video poker

Video Poker players can also choose from many popular varieties. In addition, as an example of the growing trend to offer gaming and nongaming amenities in the same setting, the Sunburst Bar in the center of the casino offers 33 multi-game video poker machines.

Table games

Mohegan Sun Pocono is home to more than 90 table games, so expect to find not only all of the most frequently played games and different variations of them, but other games that are brand new to you. Your many options include the following:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Craps
  • Mini-baccarat
  • Mississippi stud
  • Pai gow
  • Pai gow tiles
  • Let It Ride
  • Three card poker
  • Spanish 21
  • Big Six

As with slots and video poker, table games players can choose from a wide range of bet sizes. Whatever game you select, be sure to familiarize yourself with the rules and correct playing strategy beforehand.

It is best to avoid American roulette. The combination of both a single and double zero on the wheel raises the house edge to 5.26 percent. You are better off playing single zero only European roulette with a house edge of 2.70 percent.

Blackjack

Some additional comments are worth noting about blackjack due to its great popularity. For starters, this is a casino that appears to be making an effort to accommodate as many people as possible who want to play this game. Special handicap-accessible blackjack tables are available. Furthermore, low stakes players will be pleased to know that $5 blackjack tables are now being offered 24/7.

Blackjack is a game in which the likelihood of winning depends not just on luck, but on a combination of both luck and the player’s skill. Knowing and applying the correct basic strategy can go a long way towards keeping the house edge on this game to a minimum.

That said, depending on where the game is being played, and sometimes even at different tables in the same casino, the rules can vary considerably, and these rule differences can also make a particular game either easier or harder to beat. Pennsylvania players are fortunate because the rules for blackjack in Pennsylvania casinos, as set by the PGCB, are among the most liberal in the country. Regardless of whether you play at Mohegan Sun Pocono or any other Pennsylvania casino, the blackjack game you will be offered will have these basic rules:

  • Blackjack pays 3:2
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Doubling down permitted on any two cards
  • Doubling down after splits
  • Splits up to three hands (except aces)
  • Late surrender

This game, when played according to correct basic strategy, has a house edge of only about .40 percent. However, different casinos may add one or more optional proposition bets with a higher house edge. Mohegan Sun Pocono offers a bet at their blackjack tables called Blazing 7s, featuring a progressive jackpot.

Blazing 7s

Regardless of the amount of the original bet, a bet on Blazing 7s is always for $5. In order to win this bet, at least one of the first three cards dealt to you must be a seven. However, the more sevens you have in your hand, the more you win. Two sevens pay more than one and three, even more than two. The highest payouts occur when the three sevens are colored or suited. If your hand is comprised of three sevens that are all the same color, but different suits, you win 10 percent of the jackpot. However, if the three sevens are suited (three identical cards), you win the entire jackpot.

If you take a third card and go over 21, you bust and lose your regular bet, but the outcome of your Blazing 7s bet is not affected. Therefore, if either or both of your first two cards is a seven, the correct strategy for Blazing 7s is never to stand on your two card total, even if the play is contrary to basic strategy. Always hit or double. With a pair of sevens, hit or split, hoping that your third card will also be a seven. The Blazing 7 payouts are as follows:

  • Three suited sevens earn 100 percent of jackpot
  • Three colored sevens 10 percent of jackpot
  • Any three sevens pays 200 for 1
  • Two sevens pays 25 for 1
  • One seven pays 2 for 1

Fusion hybrid games

Mohegan Sun Pocono also offers this alternative way of playing. A single player terminal connects the player at the same time with up to four live table games. There are four colored tabs on the touchscreen, letting you switch back and forth.

A player can wager on up to four games at a time with just the touch of a finger. Having more chances to win adds to the excitement.

Poker

Mohegan Sun Pocono has a separate 18-table poker room, which unlike the rest of the casino, is completely nonsmoking. Amenities include several flat screen TVs and a bar. The cash games include the same varieties that are usually found in today’s poker rooms: Limit and no-limit Texas hold ‘em, Omaha and Omaha hi-lo, and stud. There are a variety of stakes to choose from as well.

Adding to the action and excitement, there are frequently scheduled multi-table and Sit-N-Go tournaments, and a high hand jackpot is paid out three times a day as well. The qualifying time periods for the jackpot are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 4 p.m.-10 p.m., and 10 p.m.-10 a.m. The player with the best hand during each time period wins the jackpot.

There are two regularly scheduled no-limit hold ‘em tournaments daily, in either a traditional or bounty format, with the first starting at 11 a.m. or noon and the second starting at 7 p.m. The buy-in ranges from $30 to $230.

Sit-N-Go tournaments (SNGs) also run daily, subject to table availability and interest. Buy-ins range from $60 to $250.

From October through December, during the Sunday, Monday, and Thursday NFL games, the poker room offers a special Pro Football Splash Pot promotion. Every time a team scores a field goal, touchdown, or safety, a lucky table is selected to have $50, $100, or $150, respectively splashed into the pot. If the Philadelphia Eagles or Pittsburgh Steelers are playing, the amount splashed into the pot is doubled.

Racing

The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono offers evening live harness racing from mid-March through November. During the month of March, Tuesdays and Saturdays are the only racing days. However, from April through November, live racing takes place most Sundays and Mondays as well as on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Moreover, there is also daily wagering on simulcast races at other tracks. Parking and admission are both free.

Momentum Rewards program

Players who do not already have a Momentum card should pick one up the next time they are in the casino. Membership is completely free and allows you to be rewarded for all of your play, not only at Mohegan Sun Pocono, but at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut as well. Just for signing up, you receive $10 in free slot play, and if you sign up for exclusive email offers, you receive an additional $10.

Every time you play using your card, you earn both Momentum Dollars and Status Points. Momentum Dollars can be used to spend on the amenities of your choice at the Mohegan Sun Pocono or, if you prefer, at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut or the newest casino partner of Mohegan Sun, Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City.

Each Momentum dollar is equivalent to $1 in spending money. You can use your Momentum Dollars towards amenities like hotel stays, dining, shopping, spa services, and entertainment. They can also online shopping at the online Momentum store.

Your status level in the casino’s five-tiered program is based on Status Points. Each higher level opens the door to additional rewards and privileges.

How to accrue points

Status Point qualifying periods are the six-month periods January-June and July-December. In order to advance to a higher level and then maintain that level, the player needs to earn the specified minimum number of Status Points. The five status levels in the Mohegan Sun Momentum Rewards program are:

  • Core (starting level)
  • Ignite (50 or more Status Points)
  • Leap ( 100 or more Status Points)
  • Ascend (400 or more Status Points)
  • Soar (1,200 or more Status Points)

Choice Credits are complimentary credits players at the three top levels earn each month. These credits can be used towards things like:

    • Hotel stays
    • VIP Lounge access
    • Buffet
    • Entertainment
    • Converted into Momentum Dollars

Unlike Momentum Dollars, Choice Credits cannot be rolled over and must be used the same month they are issued. Additionally, they can only be used at Mohegan Sun Pocono.

Personal Achievement Awards are based on Status Point earnings per trip. Players earn extra Choice Credits if they hit their specified individual Status Point goal.

Benefits for each tier

Additional benefits for players at the Ignite level and higher include:

    • Complimentary beverage service while playing table games
    • Complimentary scooter rental
    • VIP Lounge access with one guest Sunday-Thursday for 10 Momentum Dollars or Choice Credits

Like the Ignite level players, those at the Leap level receive the same Sunday-Thursday VIP Lounge access, but for only five Momentum Dollars or Choice Credits. Additional perks include shopping discounts and complimentary tickets (based on play and availability) for Wise Crackers Comedy Club.

Players at the Ascend level and higher have access to:

    • A casino host
    • Reserved parking
    • Priority lines for check-in, the casino cashier cage, and the buffet
    • Bigger shopping discounts
    • Complimentary round of golf at a partner country club
    • Complimentary access to the VIP Lounge with one guest daily
    • Ten percent discount at selected eateries
    • Cash advance fees waived
    • Free tickets to certain sporting events
    • Invitations to Party on the Patio and private events based on play

Soar is the highest status level a player can achieve at Mohegan Sun. Qualifying players get:

  • Their own Player Development Executive
  • Complimentary hotel rooms
  • Complimentary tickets and concessions at the Mohegan Sun Arena
  • Ten percent off on all spa services
  • Additional shopping discounts
  • Two rounds of complimentary golf each month
  • Two tickets to the cooking show at Rustic Kitchen

Summary

Out of all the casinos in Pennsylvania, Mohegan Sun Pocono is one of the standouts. It should be clear from this review that Mohegan Sun is the complete package, not only offering a large and diverse selection of games appealing to different types of gamblers, but also many other things that can add to a visitor’s enjoyment. Mohegan Sun Pocono is one of the few Pennsylvania gambling facilities that offer a casino, racetrack, and first-rate hotel with varied nongambling amenities.

Recent comments on sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp give both the hotel and the casino a five-star rating, describing the place as a “beautiful hotel,” with spacious rooms, “very helpful staff,” easy to get to, and with a nice casino, good entertainment, and plenty of food options. Additionally, visitors find the facility to be very clean and not overly crowded on weekdays. They find that having a racetrack adjoining the casino adds to the fun.

Of course, like any other casino, Mohegan Sun isn’t perfect. One complaint that comes up repeatedly is that the slots are too tight. Players say that it is nearly impossible to win on the slots. Slot players also don’t like having to pay for drinks, and the consensus of slot and table game players alike is that the beverage service could be faster. Another complaint of many players is that they feel the casino is being too tight with comps.

Despite the noted areas where there is clearly need for improvement, the overall consensus is that Mohegan Sun Pocono is a fun place to visit, gamble, enjoy good food, and be entertained, and that it is worth the trip.

Mohegan Sun Pocono
1280 Highway 315
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18702
1-888 WIN IN PA
1-570-831-2100
https://mohegansunpocono.com/