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Zagames to sell up Vanuatu casino

Sat, Apr 22, 11:43am by Staff Writer

The Zagame family, famous for their involvement in hotels and pubs across Australia, have elected to sell up their Vanuatu Casino resort.

The Grand Hotel & Casino resort in Port Vila in the South Pacific isle is on the market for around $25 million.

It includes an eight level hotel, as well as 15 gaming tables, 136 gaming machines, as we as restaurants, bars and conference rooms.

The Zagame family purchased the resort in 2004, while three years earlier, the family helped fund an investment to buy the island resort of Irirki.

But they are now determined to focus on their Australian hotel interests, which includes five venues in Victoria.

“We’re expecting considerable interest, predominantly from Australian and New Zealand investors,” Selling agent Rob Cross told the AFR.

“The campaign provides an opportunity to acquire the best hotel and casino in Vanuatu, which is currently owner operated but is being offered with vacant possession.

“While the hotel and casino has enjoyed trading growth in recent years, the introduction of a professional management company with a strong brand reputation could lead to further trading upside.”

There are three casino resorts in Port Vila, the Grand, Club 21 as well as Le Meridien Hotel.

The challenge to casino resorts like that in Vanuatu is that bigger and better resorts are opening across Asia and in Australia.

However, the sale of recent resorts in Cairns shows that the tourism aspect of the businesses remains strong in traditional resort locations.

Zagames began as a brand in 1971 in Northcote in inner Melbourne, and has expanded significantly to specialise in large suburban venues which offer a broad range of hospitality and gaming services.

Bobby and Victor Zagame Jnr run the Corporation, which as well as its hotels venues, also includes a number of restaurants as well as hotels.

They have also recently purchased a Queensland shopping mall, while the broader Zagame brand also includes Zagame Automotive.

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