Rumor: Seminole Tribe Sets Sights on Bally’s and Rebrand to Hard Rock

Hard Rock International, the Seminole tribe, has been kicking tires all over town for a casino acquisition.

They were reportedly close on Planet Hollywood, but now we hear the tribe’s in advanced talks to purchase Bally’s on the Las Vegas Strip.

Bally's Hard Rock Las Vegas

It’s more fondue than pizza, but you do you.

Hard Rock International bought back the rights to use the Hard Rock brand for a casino resort in Las Vegas from Juniper Capital in May 2020. (There’s a Hard Rock Cafe on The Strip, but there’s no casino, so it doesn’t count.)

Juniper purchased the Hard Rock casino in 2018 from Brookfield Asset Management.

There will be a quiz.

We’ve heard the Seminoles were pretty far down the path of buying Planet Hollywood, but hit a snag related to the Zappos Theater. Namely, Planet Hollywood’s owner, Caesars Entertainment, doesn’t want to give it up.

What would it mean if the Seminoles are buying Bally’s, as we’re told they are?

Well, it would lay waste to the theory Bally’s will be rebranded to Horseshoe. Caesars can’t rebrand something it doesn’t own.

We were curious why it was taking Caesars so long to do the rebrand given: 1) Caesars sold the Bally’s brand to Twin River, now called Bally’s Corp., and 2) Bally’s Corp. recently purchased Tropicana and could very well rebrand it to Bally’s, assuming there isn’t another one on The Strip.

The rumored sale of Bally’s to Hard Rock International helps explain the rebrand foot-dragging.

Please bring back that Duran Duran memorabilia. We miss it.

It’s worth noting Bally’s is nearly 50 years old (it was formerly MGM Grand). That’s about 1,050 in Las Vegas resort years. What if Hard Rock demolished the place and built a big-ass guitar hotel on the site, like the one in Florida?

Hi, Seminole peeps. Please make one of these on The Strip, after relieving us of Grand Bazaar Shops, thanks.

Chatter about Las Vegas casino mergers and acquisitions is at an all-time high.

Caesars Entertainment has a huge debt load, and company officials have publicly said they’ll sell one or more Las Vegas casinos.

Apparently, there’s been a lot of interest in Cromwell, but the company isn’t selling.

In somewhat related news, confirmation of another sale, of a major off-Strip resort, is expected soon. We’ll share when we can share, of course.

What we can say is a clear theme is emerging, as neither buyer owns a casino in Las Vegas at the moment.

Until then, lots of big announcements in the works, and lots of new casino chips to collect. There are Circa chips (opened in late 2020), Mohegan Sun chips (at Virgin, which opened recently), Resorts World chips (opening June 24, 2021) and possibly Bally’s chips at Tropicana and Hard Rock chips at the former Bally’s.

The usual disclaimer applies: The rumor of a Bally’s sale to Hard Rock International is unconfirmed (nor will it be prior to an official announcement, as Caesars Entertainment is a public company and won’t comment on rumors). We share industry chatter we think you’ll find of interest. Things change, so don’t get your manties in a bunch if this particular rumor doesn’t pan out. We are a blog, not a soothsayer. Probably.

Las Vegas is in a constant state of flux, and we look forward to your being fluxed up here again soon.

Udpate (10/5/21): Things move fast in Las Vegas! The latest word is the Bally’s sale isn’t happening, and the resort will be rebranded to Horseshoe.

7 thoughts on “Rumor: Seminole Tribe Sets Sights on Bally’s and Rebrand to Hard Rock

  1. Aging Sports bettor

    I’d love this especially if they renovated the entire place and got rid of those shops in front

    Reply
  2. JeffinOKC

    I have always heard that Paris was built as essentially an extension of Ballly’s. That Paris uses Bally’s casino license and the back of house operations are amongst the most codependent on the Strip. Add in that the Seminole/Hard Rock and Eldorado/Caesars are both very aggressive newcomers to the Strip and I wonder how this deal could be achieved?

    Reply
    1. Jontheman

      That was my first thought too; although, like a lot of things in Vegas, it’s something of an illusion – for example physically I think they did a particularly good job with the internal walkway here – the properties appear to flow into each other far more than they in fact do.

      Reply
    2. MrBuzzkill

      Paris was built that way. I believe it shared all of its licensing with Bally’s at first. Even the Las Vegas Review Journal reported just last year that the shared licenses were problematic, but then they issued a correction saying it was no longer the case and they do not share the same gaming license (at least).

      Reply
  3. MattG

    I’d hate to lose the Tropicana name. Ballys is Vegas too, so it’s a no win if we lose one of them. I’d love to see the Trop rooms properly brought up to date. Room reviews I read don’t sound all that good on average. If it were updated a bit it could become another anchor of that end of the Strip…is the jury still out on the ParkMGM getting a low grade on it’s attempt to fill that job?

    I’d love to hear some solid feedback from VV and other readers about their experiences on the Trop rooms, a change to it’s name, and whether they feel the ParkMGM is a fail or not.

    Reply
  4. Michael Alexakis

    Bally’s as it currently stands is just another second level Caesars property, Caesars certainly is not going to invest in improving it, so its sale is a positive no matter how you slice it. I like the Hard Rock brand, I like the eclectic music they play, I always enjoyed staying at or visiting their former location. This used to be a destination when it was MGM Grand, it had a theme, its walls were adorned with film history, Bally’s did not do bold things to it, they did not have to. Time for a change, both Caesars and MGM should sell off some of their older assets and let new players come in, it would improve things for all of us…

    Reply
  5. Jaxon

    I think that if HR buys Bally’s, it will benefit Paris, if they keep the walkway. HR could do great things with Bally’s and truly transform it into a great property. With a little imagination and money, Bally’s could have been a great property.

    Reply

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