Fri, Nov 9, 11:54am by Staff Writer
SkyCity Entertainment has confirmed that it has reached an agreement with New York-based Delaware North to sell its casino complex in Darwin for a reported A$188 million.
Delaware North is a major operator of airports, sports stadiums, gaming venues, pubs and food outlets across the globe and as we detailed last week, the company has been wanting to grow it’s operations in Australia for some time now.
They are best known to Australian residents for their operation of food and hospitality services at capital city airports and at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne.
SkyCity purchased the Darwin casino from MGM in 2004 for a reported A$195 million.
The New Zealand-based company has decided to focus its efforts towards strengthening its assets in New Zealand and Adelaide, which have proved more profitable than their venture up north.
SkyCity Darwin has 600 poker machines, more than 30 table games, four restaurants, five bars, a day spa and conference spaces.
It is Darwin’s only five-star hotel and resort.
SkyCity Darwin is another feather in the cap of Delaware North who recent acquired two Brisbane pubs and gaming venues, The Shafston Hotel and The Aspley Hotel in Brisbane.
The chief executive of SkyCity Graeme Stephens said the sale “is a good outcome for SkyCity, the resort’s staff and the city of Darwin”.
The company’s 650 staff will be retained once the change of ownership takes effect.
SkyCity will continue to remain associated with the casino through use of the casino’s VIP facilities for at least the next two years.
It will also retain the rights to operate an online casino in partnership with Delaware North, should Australian legislation change and grant a license for such a venture in the future.
The sale is subject to Delaware North gaining regulatory approval from Northern Territory authorities and SkyCity will continue to run operations until regulatory approval is received.
Delaware North operates 12 casinos in the United States and co-chief executive officer Lou Jacobs sees SkyCity Darwin as an expansion of its 30-year presence in Australia.
“With SkyCity Darwin, we are expanding our presence in the gaming and entertainment market,” Mr Jacobs said.
The SkyCity Entertainment Group operates casinos in Adelaide, Auckland, Hamilton and Queensland, with a hotel in Auckland.
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