Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

Peter Carlino and Penn National Gaming have been flirting with a Las Vegas purchase for what seems like forever. They were most often the ones mentioned when it came to MGM selling The Mirage (as long as you didn't believe the BS about Steve Wynn taking back his old now hand-me-downs).

The Marnell's built M for a cost of $1 billion (not counting another $240MM for the land it sits on). Today, Lloyds Banking sold that debt to PENN, including a $160MM note owned by MGM, for $230.5 million. Yes, 23 CENTS ON THE DOLLAR! That's an amazing deal for Carlino and crew, buying an almost brand new property that has been well taken care of since it was opened.

M's location may still be more challenge than opportunity but that will change in time. Carlino is seizing a great opportunity here and I'm sure this investment will pay off for them in the long run.

Penn is already licensed in Nevada so I'd expect this transaction to go down smoothly.

What will happen to the young Marnell? Sounds like he's out, no doubt looking for his next opportunity. He gambled on M and lost but I'm sure we haven't heard the last of him.

I think the real question here is what PENN will do to the place - they have a reputation for.... uh... being very... uh, efficient. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of the more interesting and costly little touches at M cut to bring costs down.

Coverage elsewhere:


Read archived comments (2 so far)
October 8, 2010 8:06 AM Posted by detroit1051

The only two PENN properties I've been to are in MS, Boomtown in Biloxi and Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis. PENN properties certainly aren't the same caliber as M is, so it will be interesting to see if M maintains its position with new owners. Maybe PENN wants an upscale flagship property in Vegas to funnel regional guests to. Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis looked like a nice place, with golf course, during my quick tour while driving around the area. Didn't stay or play there. Boomtown is clearly lower end.
I will say that PENN has a fairly complete website. This history timeline is an example:

October 8, 2010 6:00 PM Posted by mike_ch

M was already cutting a few costs, IMO. Cutting your own cafe for the (admittedly locally appreciated) Hash House A-Go Go was akin to a Coast/Station sort of move, and I feel the gifts had sort of been lowering in quality this year. Their VP isn't full pay, at least in my preferred game, though it is halfway there over was is/was the Strip average.

But then again, they also have those free sodas and free alcohol at the buffet. The latter is almost unheard of as the casinos begin looking more and more into becoming glamourous booze stores in recent years. Luxor briefly played with buffet booze but quickly pulled it.