Are MGM's Casinos Run by the MafiaThe July 28, 2010, By Jerry K. Polak
MGM Resorts International has sold its land lying under Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa to Vornado Realty Trust and Geyser Holdings for the pittance of $72 million. It is part of a move made by the company to distance itself from the nation’s second largest gambling market over its ties with a reputed Chinese mob boss.
The sale, which was finalized this week, covers just over 11 acres, includes ground leases and the land on which part of the Borgata sits. MGM is selling the land underneath the Borgata as a moved to comply with the ultimatum made by the New Jersey casino regulators that it sell its 50% stake in Atlantic City’s most successful casino or cut ties with Pansy Ho, its partner in a casino in the Chinese enclave of Macao.
Ho’s father Stanley has long been the target of mob ties suspicions and allegations, which he denies. Considered the founder of casinos in China, Ho’s casinos are reputedly wretched hives of scum and villainy, with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said in a report issued to the casino in May 2009 and made public in March. The division found the criminal gangs operated and thrived in the casinos owned by Pansy Ho.
The regulators concluded that Pansy Ho was an unsuitable partner for MGM, with the company denying any wrongdoing, and that their relationship up until now with Pansy Ho has been spotless.