Rumor: MGM Resorts in Preliminary Talks to Buy M Resort

It’s been awhile since we shared a juicy rumor about a potential casino sale, so let’s get right on that.

It appears MGM Resorts is in early discussions to purchase M Resort.

A reliable source says initial discussions went positively, with all parties interested in pursuing the sale.

M Resort opened in 2009 and is home to many of our gambling dollars.

Casino sales have gotten a bit more complicated in recent years, as the “physical assets” (land and buildings) are often owned by a REIT (real estate investment trust), in this case Gaming and Leisure Properties, and managed by another, in the case of M Resort, Penn National Gaming.

MGM Resorts has been focusing on casino and hotel management (known as “operations” in the business) in the past few years, selling off its land and becoming a tenant. They call it an “asset light” strategy.

We recently wrote that a REIT, Vici Properties, is now The Strip’s landlord.

In the case of M Resort, we trust MGM Resorts would be potentially taking over the operations of the casino while leasing the land.

MGM Resorts recently took over operations of Cosmopolitan, and relinquished the operations of Mirage (sold to Hard Rock International).

As MGM Resorts and Penn are publicly traded companies, good luck getting them to confirm a sale is in the works.

We are a huge fan of M Resort. The resort is about 10 minutes south of The Strip, and is largely a locals casino with an upscale feel, value pricing and player-friendly loyalty club perks.

M Resort would be a strange addition to the MGM Resorts portfolio, but they’d save a ton of money because all the ownership papers would just have to add a “GM” to “M” and an “s” to the end of “Resort,” done deal.

It’s probably more complicated than that.

M Resort recently announced it would build a new hotel tower (as shown in this rendering). How a sale could impact the plan is unknown.

Penn’s other venture in Las Vegas was Tropicana. Back in March 2020, Penn sold Trop to itself (its REIT, Gaming and Leisure Properties). In August 2021, Tropicana’s operations were sold to Bally’s Corp. (no relation to Bally’s resort, now Horseshoe Las Vegas), with Bally’s Corp. leasing the land from Gaming and Leisure Properties.

There are pros and cons whenever a new company takes over a casino’s operations. The buzz out of Cosmopolitan isn’t especially flattering to MGM Resorts, and Cosmo has taken a significant hit on review sites. There has also reportedly been an exodus of key executives, not uncommon in such ownership changes.

Casino sales can take awhile, due diligence and all that, so we may not hear any official word about the sale of M Resort for some time to come. There’s also a chance the parties involved fail to come to an agreement, and we’ll never hear anything further about it.

We like to keep you in the loop about all the Vegas chatter we hear, so this is that. Time will tell if the sale comes to fruition.


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