Elon Musk and Tesla are using tribal gaming partners to circumvent a direct-to-consumer ban

Tribes of Tesla players and Native Americans are getting creative to bring more economic opportunity to the nearly $1 trillion company, as are tribes that operate in some respects as business entities. They circumvent outdated nationwide dealership protection laws to sell electric vehicles directly to consumers.

What happens in Vegas may or may not stay in Vegas, but what happens on sovereign tribal lands largely is beyond the reach of state legislatures or law enforcement officers.

Elimination of the “middle man”

In many states, car manufacturers are only allowed to sell electric vehicles to consumers through authorized (third-party) car dealers. Laws in more than two dozen states prohibit or severely restrict direct sales and are intended to prevent manufacturers from attempting to bypass established retailers with a previously popular product. direct selling is outright banned in nearly 20 states.

Industry officials like the Electrification Coalition, a supposedly nonpartisan nonprofit, say the laws are outdated and appear to hamper the organization’s goal of making it easier for consumers to get into an electric vehicle. The coalition works with legislators and others at the state and federal levels.

Electric vehicles do not fit well with the dealer model. Much more information needs to be transmitted during the sales process for electric vehicles. Questions about things like rank, how and where you get paid, and available incentives. Learning these details and answering the questions of each potential new buyer takes time for distributors.”states the Electrification Coalition in a section of its website entitled: “Electric vehicles and consumer choice“.

Among the states with absolute bans on direct sales of electric vehicles found for consumers Connecticut – where the reservation land of the Mohegan tribe is located. In this reservation lies Uncasville, where the Casino complex Mohegan Sun.

According to a 2021 article (only for subscribers) in “The Day”, the Complex “It attracts 9 million visitors each year, many from the artists who play at the Mohegan Sun Arena, which opened in 2001. Around 3,000 paid events took place in the stadium, attracting more than 13.5 million guests. 27 big acts have started arena tours.”

The tribe intends Partnering with Elon Musk’s Tesla to open a “showroom for next-generation Tesla electric vehicles” sometime in the fall. Since the casino resort is not located “in Connecticut” but on sovereign tribal lands, state laws such as those apply Ban on direct sales of electric vehicles, do not apply over there.

In addition to serving as a delivery center for online pickups of Tesla sales, the mall will also feature a full-service showroom The shopswhere visitors can buy cars, step on the tires and even try on or buy one to leave the premises from the nearby Sky Tower valet.

Jeff Hamilton, President and General Manager of Mohegan Sun, said: “We are very excited to open this new Tesla electric vehicle showroom at Mohegan Sun this fall.”

“This collaboration with Tesla marks an electrifying milestone in Mohegan Sun’s commitment to nurturing impactful relationships, advancing environmental sustainability and delivering innovative experiences for our millions of annual guests.”

Not El Primer Tesla/Tribal Association

In June, the Oneida Nation announced a partnership with Tesla to open a showroom in the sprawling building Turning Stone Resort Casino of the tribe in upstate New York. Tesla also opened a showroom in New Mexico as part of an agreement with the Nambe Pueblo First Nation. The tribe runs the Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino vicinity.

In addition to more than a dozen US gaming subsidiaries, the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (d/b/a Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment) also has international operations including Inspire Integrated Resort Co.,Ltd. in the Republic of Korea, MGE Niagara Entertainment Inc. in Ontario, Canada and MGE Hellinikon BV in the Netherlands

Non-gaming assets include about half a dozen franchises from the Jersey Mike’s sandwich chain, as well as Mohegan Holding Company, which also has interests in sustainable energy resources, manufacturing and digital technologies.

Spring: Tesla continues to partner with Tribal Casinos for vehicle showroomsCDC Gaming Reports, July 26, 2023

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