Bruno Mars Owes $50M Gambling Debt to MGM Resorts – Report

Estimated read time 3 min read

There may be an ulterior motive to all the deals Bruno Mars signs with MGM Resorts. NewsNation has quoted an unnamed source claiming that Mars owes “millions to the MGM” in gambling debt.

A mock-up of $100 bill promotes Bruno Mars’ 2017 “24K World Tour.” (Image: X/Twitter/brunomarsspain)

A second unnamed source told the TV news network that his debt has risen as high as $50 million.

Pinky Ring, Meet Pawn Stars

“(MGM) basically own him,” one of the two alleged insiders said. “He makes $90 million a year off the deal he did with the casino, but then he has to pay back his debt.” And that’s after taxes, the insider explained, which instantly transforms $90 million a year into $60 million.

NewsNation is a cable TV network owned by the Nexstar Media Group, the largest owner of TV stations in the U.S. The article about Mars’ gambling debt was penned by Paula Froelich, a respected former reporter for the New York Post’s Page Six gossip column.

The 24K Magic singer has become a staple in Strip entertainment thanks to his MGM Resorts residencies. They include his solo run at the Park MGM resort and another as half of Silk Sonic.

Part of Mars’ multimillion-dollar MGM contract reportedly included the creation of The Pinky Ring, a cocktail lounge and performance space inside the Bellagio. (NewsNation reported that another project is in the works as well.)

However, can all this collaborating with one casino company merely be about making good on an outstanding casino balance?

Mars plays poker in an unidentified casino in an undated photo posted to X/Twitter. (Image: X/Twitter)

Not Much Evidence

Mars, born Peter Hernandez 38 years ago, has never publicly been connected with problem gambling before — though he was arrested in the bathroom of the Hard Rock & Casino for possessing 2.6 grams of cocaine back in 2010.

In a 2013 interview with GQ, Mars recalled his first gambling experience. He didn’t say where, just that he was only 19.

“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 segment  for The Late Late Show with James Corden in 2016, Mars said he paid rent in L.A. by playing poker “for a little while.” emailed MGM Resorts for a comment, but did not receive a reply.

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