Anthony “Tony” Carlucci, general manager of Boomtown Casino Biloxi and Hollywood Casino Gulf Coast, quietly moved from the Coast to take over the leadership of a Pennsylvania casino, but says he’ll be back to visit.
Carlucci left his job in early August, said Wade Howk, vice president of operations at Boomtown Biloxi. The executive teams at the casinos in Biloxi and Bay St. Louis are covering the management duties in a team role, he said, while parent company Penn National conducts a national search to fill the post.
Carlucci was hired as president and general manager of Mohegan Sun Pocono and said in a phone interview with the Sun Herald, “Honestly, I left to join this organization.”
Mohegan Sun Pocono casino is just outside Wilkes-Barre in northeastern Pennsylvania, about two hours from New York City and Philadelphia. The casino is owned by the Mohegan Tribe of Indians of Connecticut, which bought the resort in 2005. It has a 238-room hotel, 2,300 slot machines, convention center and harness racing, according to the resort’s website.
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“Leaving Biloxi was hard because I have a lot of friendships there,” Carlucci said, particularly with Chett Harrison, former GM at Boomtown and Hollywood Casino and now vice president and general manager at Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi.
“That’s the bittersweet in it,” Carlucci said of his move.
He and his wife will be back to South Mississippi to visit soon, he said. Their son works at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, and he and his wife are expecting a baby in the fall.
“The friendships will stay forever,” he said.
Carlucci has 30 years of experience in the casino and hospitality business, starting in Atlantic City as a food and beverage steward. He spent two stints in South Mississippi, first as the assistant general manager of Boomtown Biloxi from 2007 to 2009. After continuing up the ranks as general manager of Hollywood Casino in Tunica and then in St. Louis, he returned for two years to manage the casinos in Biloxi and Bay St. Louis.
The Mississippi and Pennsylvania casino markets are quite different. Pennsylvania taxes casinos at a much higher rate and has a fixed number of casinos and a huge population in the northeast from which to draw. Mississippi is an open market that allows as many casinos as a market can sustain.
Mohegan Sun said in a statement on Carlucci’s hiring, “His experience with resort, urban (and) multi-location and significant experience in highly competitive regional gaming will be extremely valuable in helping to build upon the success of Mohegan Sun Pocono.”