As it continues with negotiations to offload its Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to rival firm MGM Resorts International, American casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation has reportedly announced that Mark Juliano has unexpectedly resigned as the boss for the Pennsylvania property.
According to a report from the local The Morning Call newspaper, Juliano took over from interim boss Douglas Niethold as President for the Bethlehem venue in June of 2014 following the resignation four months earlier of long-time chief Robert DeSalvio. The elementary school teacher-turned casino executive subsequently administered a $5 million program that saw Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem replace its underperforming Infusion juice bar in with the nation’s largest live electronic table games stadium while he additionally oversaw a “soft” makeover of the property’s 302 hotel rooms and the premiere of two new restaurants.
The newspaper reported that the resignation, which is immediately effective, was revealed via a memo from Robert Goldstein, President and Chief Operating Officer for Las Vegas Sands Corporation, sent to the 2,500 Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem employees on Monday.
“Mark has been a valuable team member at both Marina Bay Sands in Singapore and as President of Sands [Casino Resort] Bethlehem,” read the statement from Goldstein. “On behalf of the management team, I would like to thank Mark for his many efforts and wish him and his family the very best.”
The note from Goldstein also reportedly declared that Brian Carr, Finance and Administration Senior Vice-President Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, has been named as Juliano’s replacement and that he would now work to ensure that operations “continue in the efficient and professional manner to which we are all accustomed”.
The casino inside Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem offers 300 slots alongside some 200 gaming tables and Juliano’s resignation comes a little over four months after he first reportedly detailed to employees that Las Vegas Sands Corporation, which is run by 83-year-old billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, had entered into negotiations with MGM Resorts International regarding the possible sale of the Northampton County venue.
“We have been told today that Sands [Casino Resort] Bethlehem has a potential buyer; it is a sole buyer interested in purchasing the property,” read a March 2 e-mail from Juliano. “The sale is not imminent and there is a lot of work that still needs to be done before a sale is final.”
The Morning Call later reported that the due diligence process regarding the $1.3 billion sale of Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem to MGM Resorts International could take upwards of six months to complete while any such deal would represent the sixth time a Pennsylvania casino has changed hands. Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino and Racetrack in Chester was sold to Caesars Entertainment Corporation in 2008 while the Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh changed hands before opening in 2009. Similarly, The Meadows Racetrack and Casino was first sold in 2011 before ultimately being acquired by Gaming and Leisure Properties Incorporated last year while Reno-based Eldorado Resorts Incorporated bought the Presque Isle Downs and Casino in 2014.