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Hard Rock International Eyes Possible Las Vegas Expansion

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Panoramic view of Las Vegas Casinos

The landscape of the Las Vegas casino industry changed dramatically this past year when El Dorado Resorts closed on its $17.3 billion-dollar bid to acquire Caesars Entertainment. Overnight, the Reno-based casino operator became a major player in the Las Vegas market.

Who knows what 2021 may have in store for the casino gambling capital of the world? However, the rumor mill through any number of industry resources is already starting to heat up in the first full week of January.

Las Vegas Sands has always been a major player in the local casino industry. However, much of the company’s attention has drifted to its major holdings in Macau and other Asian gaming locals.

As the founder, chairman, and CEO of Las Vegas Sands, Sheldon Adelson is also an iconic fixture in this town. Staying true to his ongoing diversification plans for the company, Adelson has been testing the waters to gauge interest for two of its main Las Vegas properties.

Reportedly, the asking price for The Venetian and The Palazzo is somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 billion. Few casino giants have the wherewithal to come up with that much money in light of current economic conditions.

One company that might have that kind of financial clout is Hard Rock International. That casino and entertainment giant is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. It controls all the casino business in the Sunshine State.

Insiders maintain that Hard Rock is interested in expanding its holdings into Las Vegas with one or two casino properties. The Venetian and The Palazzo might just fit the bill at the right price as two of the more popular casinos on the famed Las Vegas Strip.

The rumors that LV Sands was looking to sell these two properties first surfaced last October. There have been no serious takers so far. More recently, speculation has turned to Hard Rock International as a possible suitor.

Jim Allen is the chairman and CEO of the company. While there is nothing official on record, he has privately expressed an interest in formulating a deal.

Allen was quoted as saying:

“We are a believer in the Las Vegas market on a long-term basis.”

He also expressed interest in two Caesars Entertainment properties last fall. Allen mentioned Planet Hollywood and Bally’s Las Vegas by name.

Hard Rock International sold its only property in Las Vegas. This could make reentering the market high on the priority list.

Another driving force could be the emerging online sports betting market in Nevada. As the original home to the only legal land-based sportsbooks in the US up until May of 2018, mobile betting has become a lucrative business opportunity.

Hard Rock Atlantic City gives the company a window to the mobile sports betting market in New Jersey. The Garden State has quickly grown to become the biggest sports betting market in the country. Much of that growth has been in mobile betting.

By adding a land-based casino in Nevada, the company would then have the means to launch Hard Rock Digital as its own interactive gaming and sportsbook platform.