Borgata sale amended

Bryan Cohen Aug. 9, 2011, 9:35am


ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow and acting Director of the Division of Gaming Enforcement David Rebuck announced an agreement on Monday relating to the sale of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

The New Jersey Casino Control Commission agreed to amend the March 2010 settlement agreement between the DGA and MGM Resorts International, Boyd Gaming and Marina District Development Company. The agreement allows for an 18-month extension for MGM to control the sale and marketing of its 50 percent ownership interest in the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City, N.J., from September 24 to March 24, 2013.

Under the initial agreement, MGM was required to place its 50 percent interest in the Borgata into a divestiture trust. This was after the DGE alleged that the development and operation of the MGM Grand Macau Hotel Casino in Macau, China, by Hong Kong businesswoman Pansy Ho was found to be unsuitable.

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

The DGE found no evidence that the extension would impact its preeminent focus to ensure "the public confidence and trust in the credibility and integrity of the regulatory process and of casino operations."

The DGE's response to the joint petition clearly emphasized that its agreement to the amendment does not change any aspects of its special report on the joint venture with Pansy Ho and should not be interpreted as a reevaluation of any finding or conclusion set forth in the report.

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