FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Trenton, NJ – The Christie Administration today announced that it has resolved all outstanding property tax appeals filed by Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (Borgata) in Atlantic City. The State and MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), which owns Borgata, reached an agreement in which both parties settled, for $72 million, the property tax refunds that Borgata was owed by Atlantic City. The $72 million settlement is less than half of the $165 million that comprise Borgata judgments and claims for the years 2009-2015. 

Borgata had previously been awarded final and un-appealable judgments totaling about $100 million for tax years 2009-2012. As part of the settlement, Borgata also agrees to forego pending tax appeals for tax years 2013-2015 that could potentially have returned to Borgata approximately $65 million, however those matters were subject to the cost, time and uncertainty of litigation. 

“This settlement has been one of my administration’s priorities since Atlantic City’s fiscal crisis forced us to assume control of operations there in November with a plan to stabilize property taxes and return the city to a sound financial footing. The city administration, despite all the time and opportunity given to them failed to accomplish this goal as they have with so many others. This agreement saves $30 million more for taxpayers than what Atlantic City had anticipated settling for under its five-year plan,” said Governor Chris Christie. “I thank the leadership teams of MGM Resorts and Borgata for their shared commitment to the Atlantic City community and their good-faith efforts in working with us to reach this settlement agreement. I also thank Senator Chiesa for his steadfastness in standing up for the taxpayers of New Jersey. This is a great step forward in bringing Atlantic City back to fiscal health.”

Former U.S. Senator Jeffrey S. Chiesa was designated to lead the financial recovery effort for Atlantic City. Borgata, the City’s largest taxpayer and employer, began appealing its property taxes in 2009 and continued to do so through 2015.

“The settlement took both sides working closely together to find common ground,” said Senator Chiesa. “As good corporate citizens, MGM Resorts and Borgata understand the financial realities facing Atlantic City and are jointly committed to the revitalization of the area as a good place to live and a prime destination for tourism. We are grateful for the company’s cooperation in addressing its claim in a manner that provides the City an opportunity to continue on a path to financial recovery – an outcome in which we are all invested.”

“We have agreed to this reduced payment because we are committed to being a catalyst of Atlantic City’s strong and vibrant future,” said John McManus, MGM Resorts International Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary. “With this agreement we are assured the relative certainty of payment, and the avoidance of additional cost and time related to further litigation. MGM Resorts and Borgata believe this was the right deal for all parties concerned and is in the best interests of MGM’s shareholders.  We wish to thank Governor Christie and his administration, Senator Chiesa and Boyd Gaming Corporation, all of whom were instrumental to the resolution of this issue.”

In August 2016, MGM Resorts fully acquired Borgata through the purchase of Boyd Gaming Corporation’s 50 percent stake and subsequently sold the real property to MGM Growth Properties while retaining Borgata’s operations.

As part of the settlement, Borgata has agreed to make its quarterly payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) to the City, which will inject capital into the City’s budget.    

“We are hopeful this settlement agreement demonstrates to other Atlantic City casino property owners with tax appeals that the State is committed to good-faith negotiations to the benefit of all parties,” Chiesa said.         

Lisa Ryan
or Tammori Petty
(609) 292-6055