Las Vegas

Blackstone Group in "advanced talks" to buy Bellagio and MGM Grand

Bellagio Hotel
The Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: George Rose/Getty Images

The Blackstone Group is in "advanced talks" to buy and lease back the Bellagio and MGM Grand Las Vegas hotels and casinos from MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM), per Bloomberg. No financial terms were disclosed, but an earlier Bloomberg report valued the combined properties at around $7 billion.

Why it matters: This would be Blackstone's largest bet on the Vegas strip, where it has a mixed history.

TSA launches new facial recognition test in Vegas airport

In this image, a TSA officer sits and speaks to a passenger in a white shirt.
A TSA agent checks in passengers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, August 24, 2016. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Transportation Security Administration is preparing to launch its 4th round of facial recognition testing at Las Vegas' McCarran International Airport, as part of the agency's multi-year plan to pilot using passengers' biometric data at security checkpoints.

The big picture: The federal government sees the tests as an effort to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of airport screening. But some privacy and surveillance analysts at the ACLU and the Project on Government Oversight (POGO), a nonprofit watchdog organization, raise concerns that the technology could ultimately turn airports into police checkpoints.