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CR78-p02&03-International:SJC-Casino Review 22/3/09 01:15 Page 2
BCA to ‘cease trading’
The British Casino Association is to “cease trading”
on 31 March 2009. The BCA, whose chairman
Lady Penny Cobham is stepping down at the same
time, saw two major members, Gala Coral and the
Rank Group, leave last year with a consequent
dramatic fall in annual income. It has so far
refused to offer a reason for its decision or
explained what will come after, if anything.
The will it won’t
debate over whether
Gran Scala will
actually be
developed swung
into the positive last
month with the news
that developer ILD
had finally secured
the land on which it
could be built. The
next stage is a
change in legislation
Sheldon Adelson, who last
year was near the top of the
to permit it.
Forbes list of the world’s
richest people, at number 12,
is now a very long way down
the list at 178, as his personal
Gran Scala secures lands
wealth shrank to $3.4bn
(E2.65bn) as the share price
of Las Vegas Sands collapsed.
Kirk Kerkorian, 91, is now
and eyes 2012 opening
once again top of the shop
in the gaming industry with
a personal wealth from
MGM Mirage estimated at
$5bn (E3.9bn), although he
timescale the international consortium of backed up with operator interest is overseeing the project, said that too has lost considerable
SPAIN investors behind the project, ILD, with 12 international groups said whilst Gran Scala was just an idea in ground dropping from 41st
has been able to put forward a new to have signed letters of intent. 2005, it became a ‘firm project in place to 98th.
The huge Spanish casino project Gran deadline of 2012, at which time it Aside from Austrian operator Novo- 2007’ and that it will become a ‘real Lack of confidence in the
Scala took its most positive stride for will open with ten casino resorts, matic, their identity has not yet project’ in 2009 when construction gaming industry, particularly
months with the announcement that three large scale theme parks, four been revealed. machines move into the desert. in the light of ambitious
it had secured land in the deserts of medium-sized parks, 200 restaurants ILD had hoped that development Allegrini said that the project was expansion plans with high
Aragon on which to build the ambi- and bars, 250 stores and auxiliary of the project would commence as moving along at a faster than average levels of financing that
tious development. services. In total, Gran Scala will soon as the Zaragoza Expo had fin- pace compared to other such huge today’s lower revenues are
Purchase options have now been offer 25,000 hotel rooms. The first ished in September 2008 and that the developments and that any delays so finding it difficult to keep up
signed, sealed and completed on phase will occupy around 1,000 complex would open its doors in far should be considered normal for a with, is the root cause of the
1,000 hectares of land located in the hectares with another 1,300 to be 2010. So far the delay has been two project of such magnitude. drop in net worth of these
municipality of Ontiñena in the developed over the following 10 years, which ILD says is normal for a “If you consider that we are major players.
province of Huesca, an area with a years. ILD said Gran Scala will be project of this magnitude. talking about more than 1,300 prop- Australia’s James Packer at
tiny populace. A further 1,000 fully operational by 2022, at which The Government of Aragon is erties with 130 owners, you will 261 has had a hard year of it,
hectares have been signed over to time it will boast 32 casino hotels, closing in on the completion of a bill understand that negotiations and with his fortune down to
the council. Ontiñena was one of the six big theme parks, 12 medium- to legalise Large Leisure Centres, documents take time,” he said in the $2.5bn (E1.95bn), while
five places first highlighted as poten- sized theme parks, 400 restaurants which is to be issued to the regional Spanish press. “Besides, investments Philip Ruffin who bought
tial sites by politicians in Aragon. and bars, several auxiliary service courts in due course with the aim of are guaranteed by important com- Treasure Island in Las Vegas
Partners in the project include centres and a total of 65,000 jobs legalising the development of such panies. The E17m investment and from MGM Mirage last year,
French operator Tranchant and slot generated, on top of other 135,000 an unusual project. 65,000 employments are main- is at 334 with $2bn
manufacturer Aristocrat. indirect employment openings. Paul Stephan Allegrini, managing tained. We plan to inaugurate Gran (E1.56bn). Steve Wynn, con-
Securing the land has meant that The bold predictions have been director of the ILD consortium, which Scala in 2012.” sidered one of the major
Vegas operators best able to
weather the storm, has seen
his fortune reduced to
Crown agrees settlement
$1.5bn (E1.17bn) and last
year’s 277th position lost.
He now stands as the world’s
to delay US deal
joint 468th richest person.
The doyen of the Macau
gaming industry, Stanley Ho,
now has to make do with just
delayingtactics the Meadows racetrack- CCR in an enviable position $1bn (E779m), according to
AUSTRALIA casino in Pennsylvania for in the gaming industry with Forbes, placing him at 701st,
$US1.75bn. a strong balance sheet, a huge drop from 113th a year
Crown Gaming, the However, the deal fell ample liquidity, exciting ago. Ho, however, has already
Australian operator owned into problems with CCR new properties in Nevada denied that his wealth has
by James Packer, has paid claiming Crown had been and Pennsylvania, great fallen so far.
off Cannery Casino Resorts put off due to GGR in the growth opportunities and
(CCR) to delay the purchase US market dropping by more certainty for our
of three US casinos for up more than 80 per cent in employees. CCR will
to two years. the 14 months. It accused continue its tradition of
The deal includes a ‘get Packer’s sister Gretel and excellence in serving local
out of jail’ clause, costing three family trusts of customers in Nevada and
another $US290 m, to nullify pretending to not want to Pennsylvania with the
the purchase completely if reveal her private financial highest value gaming
regulators in Nevada and details in order to experience,” said.
Pennsylvania don’t agree to scupper the deal. “We are well positioned
the new deal. Crown’s share price to take advantage of
Only last month Crown increased on the news market conditions to grow
chief executive, Rowen that their profits would be seen Crown purchase two whilst CCR were clearly our brand and aggressively
Kirk Kerkorian, who owns
much of MGM Mirage, is now
Craigie, said the company 30 per cent down on what Las Vegas Cannery delighted. The company’s market our properties,”
richest man in the gaming
was committed to buying was envisaged. The properties, and a third co-CEO Bill Paulos said: added Bill Wortman,
industry, overtaking Las Vegas
the casinos, but stressed original deal would have which is leased, as well as “This announcement puts CCR’s co-CEO. Sands’ Sheldon Adelson
April 2009 • internationalnews 3
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