Bruno Mars

MGM Denies Claim Bruno Mars Has $50 Million Gambling Debt With Casino (UPDATE)

Author: Editors Desk Source: Complex
March 20, 2024 at 11:06
Aaron J. Thornton / Getty Images for BET
Aaron J. Thornton / Getty Images for BET
The singer struck a long-term residency deal with MGM in 2016.

UPDATED 3/18/24, 3:47 p.m. ET: MGM Resorts International has denied allegations that Bruno Mars is in debt with the global hospitality and entertainment company.

"We’re proud of our relationship with Bruno Mars, one of the world’s most thrilling and dynamic performers," MGM wrote in a statement provided to Complex. "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." 

The statement continues: "Any speculation otherwise is completely false; he has no debt with MGM. Together, we are excited to continue creating unforgettable experiences for our guests."

See original story below.

Bruno Mars might be in some hot water with MGM.

The “24K Magic” singer announced a multi-year residency with MGM Resorts International in 2016, performing at the hospitality giant’s Park MGM resort in Las Vegas.

However, the relationship between the 38-year-old and the hospitality giant may have gone sour as the singer’s gambling has allegedly racked up large debts at the poker tables in Las Vegas, according to NewsNation.

“He owed millions to the MGM,” a Vegas insider told the outlet. 

Another source added that the debt is as high as $50 million.

“[MGM] basically own him. He makes $90 million a year off of the deal he did with the casino, but then he has to pay back his debt,” added the insider, claiming that the singer only makes $1.5 million per night after taxes.

Part of Mars’ MGM contract reportedly included the creation of The Pinky Ring, a cocktail lounge inside the Bellagio Resort. NewsNation reports that another project is in the works as well.

In a 2013 interview with GQ’s Chris Heath, Mars reminisced about his early days of gambling when he frequented the Commerce Casino in Los Angeles, long before he became famous.

"I used to be like a loudmouth. You know the guy, people would want to take his money. If you do get them to lose, they're out for you, they're gunning for you,” Mars said at the time. “And that's when they're weak. And that's when you jump or pounce on them.”

In the interview Mars also opened up about the first time he visited a casino when he was 19-years-old.

"I remember my first bet, my hand was shaking, and a guy called me out on it and embarrassed me,” he said, admitting he lost a hundred dollars he couldn’t afford to lose. "You gotta lose. You just have to lose to win, to understand."

During his Carpool Karaoke episode for the Late Late Show with James Corden in 2016, Mars briefly revealed that he was able to make rent while living in L.A. by playing cards “for a little while.” You can catch this moment at the 13 minute mark here.

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