MGM dismisses rumors about Bruno Mars’ alleged $50M gambling debt

Bruno Mars
Image: Shutterstock / Brian Friedman

Bruno Mars caught a ‘Grenade’ from the media last week when a report alleged he had racked up debts in the tens of millions of dollars with MGM Resorts International But the gaming hospitality giant has dismissed that claim as “completely false.”

NewsNation reported that Mars, who has an extensive partnership with MGM Resorts, owed possibly as much as $50 million to the company as a result of his gambling habit and that they “basically own him.”

An MGM Resorts statement issued on March 18 categorically denied that suggestion, as well as the claim that a motivation behind Mars’ partnership with the company was to pay down his debts.

“We’re proud of our relationship with Bruno Mars, one of the world’s most thrilling and dynamic performers,” read the statement given to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “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.”

Unconfirmed financials suggest that Mars makes $1.5 million per night through his long-running Dolby Live residency, which began back in December 2016, and he and MGM also have a new partnership with The Pinky Ring at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, which opened on Feb. 10.

Mars has spoken publicly in the past of his love of playing cards. He told GQ back in 2013 that he “used to pay my rent” by laying down hands in Las Vegas and that pastime is one of the few things that helps him take his mind off his music. In 2016, he also spoke to late-night host James Corden about it on an episode of Carpool Karaoke.

But the message from MGM is clear: any suggestions that Bruno Mars is in the red with them shouldn’t be taken seriously.