Palms Casino Sold to San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

As we reported days ago, Palms Casino has reportedly been sold. Now, we can share who’s buying: The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.

San Manuel runs an wildly successful casino in Southern California, but this is the first time the tribe has undertaken a venture in Las Vegas.

This scoop hasn’t been officially confirmed, but you know it will be soon.

San Manuel

Las Vegas is about to get even more tribal.

While this purchase may come as a surprise to many, San Manuel did a pretty good job of telegraphing their intention to get into the Las Vegas market.

The tribe has advertised extensively in Las Vegas, including on the digital billboards at T-Mobile during Vegas Golden Knights games.

While it didn’t get nearly the media coverage it deserved, San Manuel also donated $250,000 to Las Vegas non-profits during the pandemic. The non-profits included Shade Tree, Make-A-Wish, Nevada Public Radio and The Smith Center.

Feel free to start taking our word as gospel at any time.

San Manuel also donated $9 million to UNLV’s hospitality and law schools to expand tribal gaming and hospitality studies.

San Manuel is also a founding partner of the Las Vegas Raiders.

For anyone paying attention, it was pretty clear San Manuel Band of Mission Indians was coming to Las Vegas. Now, you know where.

Station Casinos invested $1 billion in Palms. Let’s just say it went pear-shaped.

Fun fact: The CEO of San Manuel, Laurens Vosloo, was formerly the Exec. Director of Finance for Las Vegas Sands Corp. Vosloo graduated with dual Bachelor of Science Degrees from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Accounting and Management and earned his CPA license in Nevada.

Palms never reopened after the mandatory casino closure on March 18, 2020. The casino struggled following an expensive overhaul, and suffered serious losses with its doomed nightclub/dayclub, Kaos. Read more.

We trust San Manuel won’t make the same missteps as the former owner. All due respect to Cardi B and her 15-minute, $300,000 “shows.”

We’re just relieved the buyer of Palms isn’t a REIT (real estate investment trust) or investment fund. New blood, please.

San Manuel’s purchase of Palms is one of several moves by tribes in Las Vegas. Mohegan Sun currently runs the casino at Virgin Las Vegas, and we’ve shared the rumor the Seminoles are expected to purchase Bally’s.

Details of the Palms purchase aren’t available yet, but we wanted to drop some boom, anyway.

More to come!

Update (4/30/21): As promised we’ve got updates up the yang. We’re hearing the sale price of Palms to San Manuel is in the neighborhood of $660 million. (See below for an update. Sale price is confirmed at $650 million.)

The Palms sale deal with San Manuel is expected to close in about 90 days.

We understand San Manuel plans to reopen Palms as quickly as possible after the sale is finalized, and the resort will keep the Palms name (which makes sense, as it’s still a strong, recognized brand). A Palms job fair in the coming weeks is anticipated.

Early plans do not include a splashy dayclub/nightclub scene, or expensive headliner entertainment, avoiding some pitfalls of the prior ownership.

We assumed none of the existing restaurant partnerships, such as with Michael Symon at Mabel’s, wouldn’t survive the change in ownership, but it appears discussions are being had to carry certain venues over.

The timing of the reopening of Palms is not only contingent upon staffing up, but San Manuel doesn’t currently have a Nevada gaming license. We understand the license approval will be fast-tracked, but it’s unknown when that will be finalized.

Check back again for all the exclusive scoop about the Palms casino sale to the San Manuel tribe! Exciting changes are in the works at this popular off-Strip casino resort.

Update (5/4/21): The sale of Palms to San Manuel has been confirmed. The sale price is $650 million. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2021. Translation: Boom.

27 thoughts on “Palms Casino Sold to San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

  1. BST

    Wow that’s interesting 🙂
    I am one who actually never set a foot in Palms . But San Manual plenty of times.
    I am awaiting their new hotel in Ca to be finished . At least last time I was passing by it was still in progress .
    Keep up the good work- I always love your photos

    Reply
    1. Michael Alexakis

      They would be foolish to try and re-brand The Palms, these tribes are savvy businesspeople with deep pockets… I think it will be like The Virgin Hotel, with the Mohegan Sun casino. I predict they will run promotions to build back the gambling customer base, they did not buy this to sit on it, they will get aggressive… Hopefully this is going to benefit the average gambler, we have largely been ignored and taken for granted for quite some time…

      Reply
    2. Scott Roeben Post author

      There’s a chance, but I hear that’s not in the cards at the moment. They’ll keep Palms.

      Reply
  2. Gaz Vegas

    Very interesting. I actually liked much of what was done with Palms upgrade by Stations even though I couldn’t see how they’d get their $$ out of it.

    Any thoughts on when it will be officially announced?

    Reply
    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      The deal should close in 90 days, so they could announce any time. After it’s done, they have another 90 before Station has to file/announce, as it’s a public company. I suspect sooner, but hard to predict timing.

      Reply
  3. Michael Alexakis

    This certainly makes me wonder how far behind Morongo and Pechanga are, or Chumash… Or Agua Caliente. San Manuel is a big casino, but Pechanga is the biggest and best casino I have ever been to that is not in Las Vegas, Morongo is second best. These Native American casinos literally own the California State Legislature, our elected officials serve them. The Native American casinos badly want to crush the local card rooms, they are spending millions and millions to make themselves the sports betting monopolies when eventually California gets around to legalizing it. San Manuel is making a bold move here, because they can. Stay tuned, San Manuel is not the only California tribe swimming in money…

    Reply
  4. david

    HA! A sucker is born every minute. There is a reason why the palms has not ever been a successful operation and if the Red Rock guys cant make it, i seriously doubt a tribe with no Vegas experience can, unless they got a smokin deal on the property, which i doubt.

    Reply
    1. Michael Alexakis

      The Palms was a giant success for many years, the original owner built a big condo project at exactly the moment the Las Vegas condo market crashed… I think you are making the same mistake a very famous American history figure did, General George Custer, underestimating a very strong Native American Tribe. The San Manuel Tribe turned one single small local casino into an empire, they engage with communities, they give to local and national charities, they built some hefty good will. I think they are going to aggressively market The Palms, to the benefit of the average consumer. Las Vegas for too long has had two super big companies own most of the resorts, new blood is badly needed. I love Red Rock, but for the last several years they have reduced promotions and tightened up. San Manuel is not spending 900 million dollars on a property to just sit on it, they will get bold, stay tuned, since the convention market will come back slowly, the casinos realize they need players…

      Reply
      1. Andrew

        Totally agree on every single word. These guys will look after the average Joe gamblers and maybe they’ll even have shuttles back and forth from retirement centers to bring in older folks. Palms cannot succeed anymore as its early days,competitions is way too aggressive.
        Look forward to see how the place develops.

        Reply
        1. Ann Moody

          The free shuttles for retirees would be a simple, inexpensive and brilliant move. It is a beautiful enough property, certainly has significant potential for renewed success with updated and smart business tactics. As Scott and others note, it’s very encouraging to see a savvy company move into the Vegas mix and I agree the value-oriented traveler / gambler has been rather dismissed by the big boys in recent years.

          Reply
        2. Scott Roeben Post author

          I think the way it works is to not try and do what Station tried to do. You stay away from nightlife/dayclub, you avoid expensive talent, you get back to the basics of a good gamble, good food and good drink. It’s also a place for them to send their SoCal players, so there’s that.

          Reply
      2. BST

        You are spot on ! Indeed they built some hefty good will .
        They have also donated major cash to local small businesses hit hard by Covid- as I am sure you know .

        Reply
    2. Scott Roeben Post author

      I’ve reported $660 million. Some will say it’s too much, but Station couldn’t save face for less.

      Reply
  5. Chris

    Most trips to Vegas I’ll make a trip to the Bermuda Triangle…Rio/Gold Coast/Palms. I enjoyed the latest rebrand of the Plams buffet but there was never anybody in there gambling. Interesting to see how they plan to get people in the casino. Bit of a walk from the strip, too far for most people so some sort of shuttle would be nice. Being 60+ I’d go for that in a heartbeat. I say best of luck!! The funny thing about Gold Coast is even though I’m 60+ I brought down the average age in that place by a lot. Rio just always has a funky vibe to it IMO. It’s like they just don’t know what to do with it. Oh well, again best of luck to the new owners.

    Reply
    1. Jackson

      Instead of a shuttle, they should think bigger. Build an automated people mover or gondola from Palms to Rio and then to The Strip. Maybe run it to the back end of the Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

      A gondola would be easier (and probably cheaper) since don’t require as many structural support towers.

      I’m certain more people would use that when compared to a shuttle bus. In fact, they could probably charge people to use it because would feel like an amusement park ride.

      That said, I have no clue if it’s feasible since you’d need to cross Interstate 15.

      Reply
  6. William Wingo

    I’ve been to Palms once years ago, IIRC with a “twofer” buffet coupon, when we were staying across the street at Gold Coast. I don’t have any spectacular memories of the place, and even staying at GC several more times over the years, have never been motivated to go back.
    If it comes back in the Virgin-Monhegan Sun mode, that trend will probably continue.

    Reply
  7. Michael Alexakis

    For days now the only mention of this gigantic scoop was a tiny blurb on Las Vegas Advisor, your sourcing makes Deep Throat look like Joan Rivers, Dean Wormer has this blog on Double Secret Probation, you had to unlock more than Maxwell Smart does to get into his apartment… Geraldo Rivera has secret vault envy, MacGyver once tried to get what you got with some bubble gum and a swizzle stick, and he failed… You might have set the bar too high, your next scoop might be limited to Lady Gaga’s bulldog excrement, just wear a Kevlar vest…

    Reply
    1. Scott Roeben Post author

      You are weird, but I’ll take that as a compliment. I like being first and alone, all the more glory when a story is officially announced. Thank you.

      Reply
      1. Michael Alexakis

        Yup, I am weird… The voices in my head are pretty strange as well, my poor wife has to live with me, all you have to do is read a few usually non germane off base comments…

        Reply

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