NY buyer for Aladdin?

Aug 7, 2001 5:57 AM

Is there a white knight in the wings waiting to buy out the Aladdin hotel? With nearly everyone having an opinion at the Strip resort, it’s difficult to get to the truth.

Not surprisingly, the resort’s major domo ”” London Clubs ”” is standing mute. However, GamingToday has reason to believe a sale ”” somewhere down the line ”” might make sense.

There are whispers that the mystery buyer is a New York-based real estate firm headed by a former federal prosecutor.

That may narrow the hunt if it’s true.

GamingToday knows of at least two qualified white knights. One is Thomas Puccio, a high-profile New York lawyer and federal prosecutor in the ABSCAM case of the 1980s.

Puccio, who could not be reached by press time, has strong casino connections. He represented Mirage resorts in Atlantic City and has battled both Park Place and Donald Trump in court.

Late last year, he filed a $6.3 billion lawsuit against Park Place on behalf of the Mohawk tribe in a land dispute in the Catskill Mountains.

Ironically, conventional wisdom has Park Place buying the Aladdin (PPE owns neighboring Paris and Bally’s and holds one-third of the Aladdin’s publicly traded bonds). PPE officials have steadfastly refused to comment on such a sale.

There is reason to believe that if the New York deal falls through, PPE would be sitting in the garden spot, perhaps picking up the pieces for nickels and dimes on the dollar.

A second name floating around is that of Las Vegas attorney Stan Hunterton, a former prosecutor from New York. Hunterton, reached by GT, says he has no interest in the Aladdin.