The $1.3 billion deal to sell Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to MGM Resorts International has collapsed, according to multiple sources.
What would have been one of the largest property sales in the history of the Lehigh Valley faltered late last week and MGM ended its pursuit of the Bethlehem casino complex, sources with knowledge of the deal told The Morning Call.
While city officials have called Sands a good corporate neighbor that has built arguably the most successful casino in Pennsylvania, some were quietly rooting for MGM to take over in the hopes that it would move more quickly to develop the rest of the former Bethlehem Steel lands now owned by Sands.
Sands Bethlehem CEO Mark Juliano in March sent an internal letter to employees telling them the casino had an interested buyer. While sources have told The Morning Call that Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International offered nearly $1.3 billion to buy the casino, Sands parent company Las Vegas Sands Corp. never commented.
“We’ve never confirmed that sale talks were happening, but I can say that we will continue to operate Sands Bethlehem,” said Las Vegas Sands Corp. spokesman Ron Reese, before referring to comments made last month by Sands Corp. President Robert Goldstein during the company’s first-quarter earnings call.
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