It appears likely that a casino-resort located on the Las Vegas Strip will be put up for auction this year, and it will not be one of the properties already operated by Caesars Entertainment. According to a recent report from Deutsche Bank analyst Carlo Santarelli, it is unlikely that the gaming operator will be looking to purchase or sell any Las Vegas properties in 2021.
Conversely, Santarelli has implied that an existing Strip venue could be available to potential bidders in the near future. This speculation is bolstered by the fact that Caesars has already stated that the sale of one of their Las Vegas properties this year is improbable.
One potential candidate for sale is the Bellagio, which is owned and operated by MGM Resorts International. Last December, Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust (BREIT) was hit with numerous redemption requests, leading it to divest some of its assets in order to raise capital. These transactions included the sale of 49.9% stakes in Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand to VICI Properties for $4.27 billion. Since then, BREIT has paid out $5 billion in redemptions, with only 15% of the $4.5 billion requested in March being fulfilled.
In addition to the Bellagio, other potential candidates for a Strip sale include the operating rights to Excalibur and Luxor, both of which have been the subject of speculation regarding their future. Another possibility is that the owner of a Las Vegas Strip casino-hotel engages in a sale-leaseback transaction, although the number of viable options is much smaller than it was several years ago.
It appears that a Las Vegas Strip casino-resort is poised to be put up for auction this year, although the identity of the property remains unknown. Caesars Entertainment has ruled out their involvement in the sale, while MGM Resorts International could be looking to divest the Bellagio or some of their other properties. Other potential candidates include Excalibur and Luxor, while a sale-leaseback transaction could also be a possibility.