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MGM responds to report of Bruno Mars’ gambling debt

Updated March 19, 2024 - 7:07 pm

MGM Resorts says its relationship with Bruno Mars is one of “mutual respect” and “Any speculation otherwise is completely false; he has no debt with MGM.”

Issued Monday, the statement answers a report Friday from media website NewsNation that the Park MGM headliner has rolled up gambling debts in the tens of millions. Citing an unidentified source, the publication alleged Mars had debts as high as $50 million from table games.

Responding to a request for comment, and MGM Resorts International rep emailed the statement:

“We’re proud of our relationship with Bruno Mars, one of the world’s most thrilling and dynamic performers. From his shows at Dolby Live at Park MGM to the new Pinky Ring lounge at Bellagio, Bruno’s brand of entertainment attracts visitors from around the globe.

“MGM and Bruno’s partnership is longstanding and rooted in mutual respect. Any speculation otherwise is completely false; he has no debt with MGM. Together, we are excited to continue creating unforgettable experiences for our guests.”

The NewsNation report went on to say Mars continues to perform his residency production at Dolby Live to pay down debt. The unconfirmed numbers are Mars makes $1.5 million a night, $60 million a year after taxes. As a result, the source is quoted in the pub, “(MGM) basically own him.”

But even if those numbers were accurate, Mars’ losses would be lower by at least $10 million than he is paid for his Dolby Live residency.

But 38-year-old superstar and the resort company have just entered into a long-running partnership with The Pinky Ring at Bellagio. Mars has appeared several times at the club, which opened Feb. 10. His backing band, The Hooligans, performs at the club.

A person familiar with Mars’ residency said of the report, “That whole thing is such BS.”

The “Uptown Funk” singer is known to play mostly at Aria and Bellagio, not at Park MGM.

Mars’ stage show debuted in December 2016, and his residency has been repeatedly extended. The show is largely unchanged from its launch, though Mars has enforced a “pouched” phone policy since 2018. In that time, rumors of his gaming activity have seeped out of the hotel, cresting with the NewsNation report and MGM’s firm denial.

One piece of information imparted in the story was a rumored feud between Mars and Anderson .Paak, who performed the sold-out Silk Sonic series at Dolby Live. The 47 dates ran from 2022-23. The story indicates the two were in dispute because .Paak felt he was underpaid, but the two have made up.

The reporting lists May dates for Silk Sonic at Dolby Live, but the act is not on the venue’s ticket schedule. A rep reiterated there are no performance dates at Park MGM for the act.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on X, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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