MGM Resorts International agreed to leave New Jersey in 2010. The company petitioned state’s regulators to re-establish its casino license. The company agreed to get out of the state in March 2010 when it was questioned about its Macau business partner Pansy Ho.
The casino operator has a 51 percent stake in MGM Macau’s parent company MGM China Holdings Ltd. It decreased Ho’s stake to 27 percent according to a filing dated February 8. New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement had recommended that Ho should be deemed unsuitable to have a license based on her family’s connection to organized crime.
MGM is the largest casino operator on the Las Vegas Strip. It said in March 2010 that it would sell half of its interest in Atlantic City’s Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. No transaction was made by the company. It has been looking for open gambling sites in the United States, including Maryland and Massachusetts, even if there were concerns regarding the failure to retain its license in New Jersey.
MGM increased its stake in MGM China in 2011. It has six representatives on the company’s board while Ho has two. Ho’s father, Stanley Ho, has been the subject of the division’s organized crime concerns. He is in ill health and no longer has ownership in his daughter’s company.
The casino operator asks for the right to reapply for a license in New Jersey. MGM has been out of the state for three years and would be absent for a total of four years pending the result of an investigation. MGM’s interest in the Borgata has been in a trust for the past three years. Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Group operates the property and owns the other.
MGM dropped 3.4 percent to $13.05 at the close in New York. The shares have declined 11 percent in the past year.