Pennsylvania only legalized casino gambling a little more than 10 years ago, but the sale that is about to take place there will be record-setting. According to The Morning Call, Las Vegas Sands Corp. is presently ready and willing to sell Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem for a reported $1.3 billion. Though no official announcement has been made, nor has either company talked about the deal in any detail, this seems to be the real thing.
Even though the two groups have reportedly agreed on the sale price of the casino resort, that does not mean the deal is as good as done. There are plenty of other items that need to be sorted out, much of which can be summed up by saying that the two sides need to do their “due diligence.” Despite sources close to the situation saying that the deal is going to be made imminently, it would be difficult to envision such a deal being made any time in the next 2 weeks.
For those unfamiliar with Pennsylvania casinos, Sands Bethlehem is the most successful and one of the most popular. It would be fitting that MGM would purchase the site, as they are one of the fastest growing casino groups in the country. MGM is clearly trying to grow their East Coast presence, and adding a site in Pennsylvania would complement their recently-acquired sites in Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey.
Before any deal can be made, the agreement, sale price, and many more items must first be looked at and approved by the Gaming Control Board.
Perhaps adding some intrigue to this situation is the fact that Sands Bethlehem CEO Mark Juliano sent out an employee email last week explaining that talks were underway. With that being said, he did make mention of the word “imminent,” when he said that a sale was not imminent.
Las Vegas Sands Corp. had a spokesperson talk about the issue, although you can hardly call it talking as very little in the way of new information was exposed. Spokesperson Ron Reese, in a released statement, was quoted as saying, “Las Vegas Sands is regularly approached about potential interest in various assets. The company has no announcement to make at this time. As always, we thank our dedicated team members for their hard work and professionalism.”
From the MGM side of the table, there have been no comments made about the deal. When asked, they have repeatedly declined to comment. What all this boils down to is the use of the word “imminent.” While sources have reportedly said the deal is very close to becoming reality, other sources said that it could take a half-year or more before things were brought to a conclusion. As such, this seems like another situation that will be followed-up on many more times over the course of the near-term future.