A new era for SLS Casino in Las Veags as new owners take the helm

  • SLS Casino confirms Meruelo Group will be taking over by the third quarter of 2017
  • The sale awaiting the regulatory approval to be completed

Rumors surrounding a potential sale of SLS Casino located on the Las Vegas Strip can finally end.

The SLS Casino on the Vegas strip has new owners.
The SLS Casino on the Vegas strip has new owners.

The casino released an official announcement, confirming the property has been bought by Meruelo Group, the company that owns Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort.

For the time being, the price of this transaction remains undisclosed. Neither company would reveal this important piece of information, and the only thing they revealed in the press release announcing the sale was that the change of ownership should be completed by the end of Q3 of 2017.

SLS Casino finally gives in

SLS Casino opened in August 2014, but not as a brand new property. It emerged from the old Sahara hotel and casino thanks to the $415 million investment by SBE Entertainment and Stockbridge Capital. These two companies invested a lot of money to turn the old resort into a stylish, modern property that would attract customers.

The casino had a troubled start however.

The hotel, which was the part of the resort, reported a net loss of $84 million during the first half of 2015.

Sam Nazarian, the entrepreneur and part owner of SBE Entertainment left the company in October the same year, selling his ten percent stake to Stockbridge.

The resort, which features a 50,000 feet casino floor with 60 tables and some 600 slot machines, continued to struggle.

Meruelo Group to the rescue

Meruelo Group currently owns interests in 35 different companies. The casino industry is just a part of their portfolio, as they have stakes in media, engineering, real estate, and several other industries. The Grand Sierra was their only gambling business prior to this purchase. The Reno property features 100,000 square feet of the casino floor and nearly 2,000 hotel rooms.

The next thing is the approval by Las Vegas regulators, who have the final decision in all transactions of this type. Meruelo spokesman stated the Group expects no issues in this regard as Alex Meruelo, the company owner, already has an unrestricted license.

It is worth mentioning that Sahara opened in 1952, and at the time, it was the sixth casino on the growing Las Vegas Strip. The property witnessed its fair share of history, hosting many big happenings, like concerts by Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and The Beatles. The resort changed ownership a couple of times before it was eventually closed in 2011 pending renovations.


With Meruelo Group taking over SLS Casino, whatever they decide to do with it, the spirit of Sahara resort will continue to live on, even if covered with a new façade and hosting some brand new guests and players. It is hard not to be at least a bit sentimental about one of the oldest Las Vegas casinos because if those walls could talk, they’d surely have quite a few stories to tell.

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