Over in the Land Down Under, the Australian Financial Review is reporting that Echo Entertainment Group is looking into the possibility of selling its Townsville casino in an attempt to clear up some room and allow the company to focus more on its core casinos in Sydney, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast.
The casino is generating some interest from a number of companies, including Singapore’s Lasseters International Holdings and New Zealand’s SKYCITY Entertainment Group. The two interested bidders could very well make for an interesting bidding war for Townsville, something Echo wouldn’t mind one bit at all. The early figure being thrown out is about $100 million in proceeds for Echo, which would be a pretty good number that will allow them to focus their time on improving their casinos in the other major Australian cities.
SKYCITY, in particular, could be a viable buyer for the Townsville casino, in large part because of their focus on having casinos in smaller Australasia cities. They already have casinos in Adelaide and Darwin, as well as another two casinos in Auckland and Hamilton, New Zealand. Adding the Townsville casino to their portfolio seems right in line with what they’ve been doing with their business ventures.
Selling the Townsville casino comes at a good time for Echo, who appears to be in the middle of refurbishing its casinos in Brisbane and Gold Coast in order to attract the international high-roller market. By selling Townsville, the company could sell the buyer on the fact that the casino reported a 60% jump in gross earnings despite only seeing a 5% revenue increase.
Meanwhile in Sin City, USA, Houston-based casino developer Nevada Gold & Casinos Inc. announced that it’s scrapping plans to invest in a proposed 200-room hotel and casino adjacent to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Ernest East, interim president of Nevada Gold, said in a statement: “Given the challenges of securing financing for the Las Vegas Speedway Project, we have decided to not make any further investments in that project. Instead, we will focus on activities that offer more immediate rewards for Nevada Gold and will write off the $215,000 the company had invested to date.”
Nevada Gold, which is licensed as a Nevada gaming operator, decided to cut bait from the proposed 30,000-square-foot casino project with Lennar Corp because of what Jim Kohn, Nevada Gold’s chief financial officer, described as a “lack of significant, sustained upward movement in local hotel-casino metrics, such as room rates, occupancy rates and gaming win.”