News about Las Vegas Sands‘ negotiations to sell Sands Bethlehem (confirmed) to MGM Resorts International
(alleged) have been all over the Internet, especially once MGM’s name entered the discussion. You know where the story hasn’t been? Yup. Sheldon Adelson‘s very own Las Vegas Review-Journal. The business desk clearly got a memo from The Boss to ignore the story and have diligently stuck their heads in the Sands. Instead we get this — and the greatest affront to the convicted bookie was that his concealed-carry permit got revoked. Gun rights are sacrosanct at the R-J.
* “We are extremely happy with our ownership of the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and after considerable analysis and deliberation we determined that we only wanted to own one operating casino property in Atlantic City,” says Carl Icahn in a public statement that pretty much spells curtains for Trump Plaza. No, in a move that ought to earn him a vote of gratitude, Icahn is far likelier to implode the decrepit property, which no one seems to think capable of redemption.
Meanwhile, Hard Rock International‘s purchase of Trump Taj Mahal (scheduled for de-Trumpification, as bits and pieces of the ex-casino turn up on eBay) is playing to raves across the board. Mayor Don Guardian, for one, said, “In addition to Stockton [University] and South Jersey Gas opening up next year, we hope that 2018 will be banner year as we continue to rebuild Atlantic City.” The only noncommittal voice was that of Unite-Here Local 54 President Robert McDevitt, who’s taking a wait-and-see attitude.
As for demolishing the Plaza, Global Gaming Business reports that it would be complicated by the fact that Boardwalk Hall infrastructure runs through the property. Explained Guardian, “We have a power plant on Atlantic Avenue, and it goes down and connects Claridge to Bally’s to Wild West to Caesars to Trump Plaza to Boardwalk Hall to Caesars Pier. If they take out Trump Plaza, there is no cooling or heating for Boardwalk Hall or The Pier. That becomes a big issue.” The city could reroute the pipes for less than $3 million … if it can afford to. As everyone knows, Atlantic City is a pauper right now.