MGM Resorts wins 18-month extension to control its sale of stake in Borgata

ATLANTIC CITY — The  Casino Control Commission will give MGM another 18 months to control the marketing and sale of its majority ownership in the Borgata Hotel Casino.

An amendment to a March 2010 settlement agreement between the Division of Gaming Enforcement and MGM Resorts International, Boyd Gaming and Marina District Development Company will extend the date from Sept. 24 to March 24, 2013, the commission reported today.

Acting Director David Rebuck of the state Division of Gaming Enforcement said he supported the commission’s decision.

 “The 18-month extension should allow for a more positive result in the sale and does not raise any integrity issues with respect to the operation and control of the Borgata,” Rebuck said. “We’re confident that this will be beneficial to the overall stability and continuity of the Atlantic City casino gaming market.”

Under the initial settlement agreement, MGM was required to place its 50 percent interest in the Borgata into a divestiture trust. The agreement resulted from the Division’s investigation into the development and operation of MGM Grand Macau Hotel Casino in Macau, China, by Hong Kong businesswoman Pansy Ho, according to the division.

In the Division’s May 2009 Special Report, the joint venture partner in Macau was found to be unsuitable and MGM was directed to disengage itself from any business association with her.

MGM decided under the settlement to divest its interest in the Borgata rather than disengage from business with Ho. MGM was required under the settlement to sell its interest in the Borgata within 30 months. MGM was granted control to complete the sale within the first 18 months. If no sale was made in that time, the trustee appointed by the Casino Control Commission would have sole authority to direct the sale process for the remaining 12 months.

The division said it found no evidence that the extension would affect its ability to ensure “the public confidence and trust in the credibility and integrity of the regulatory process and of casino operations.”

“The decision of the Borgata to join with MGM could only be prompted by a belief that the relief requested would be beneficial to all parties,” Rebuck added. MGM Resorts wins 18-month extension to control its sale of stake in Borgata