In 1969 Kirk Kerkorian bought a controlling interest in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer film studio.
Because of the debt incurred from this venture, Kerkorian was forced to sell his casino company, International Leisure, to Hilton Hotels. When the casino he had built, the Las Vegas Hilton, became the most successful casino in Las Vegas, he was inspired to lead his new film studio into the gambling industry.
He opened the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in 1973 and the MGM Grand Reno in 1978.
In 1979 most of the company’s income was from the two hotel-casinos and the company announced it would split into two. In 1980, the film studio was spun-off into a new company. Founder Kerkorian retained a 47% stake in both companies.
In 1985 Kerkorian sold the two hotel-casinos to Bally’s, retaining the rights to the MGM name in the deal.
The company now known as MGM Resorts International was founded in 1986 as a subsidiary of Kerkorian’s Tracinda Corporation.
In 1993 the company opened the MGM Grand Las Vegas and the MGM Grand Adventures theme park. The final construction cost was $1 billion.
In 1997 MGM opened the New York New York Hotel and Casino, a casino that recreated the New York skyline, across the street from the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
The company continued to grow through mergers, joint ventures, and partnerships.
Today MGM Resorts International focuses on the hospitality industry as well as gaming, and it manages non-gaming hotels and residences worldwide.
MGM Resorts International trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MGM, is #292 in the Fortune 500, and had $9.44 billion in revenue in 2013.