Malaysian-born casino group Genting is considering entering the Australian casino sector by purchasing the Darwin casino that has been put up for sale by its New Zealand-based owner SkyCity Entertainment.
With huge projects to fund in Adelaide and Auckland, SkyCity has entrusted Goldman Sachs to sell the property with Genting being one of a number of operators the firm has contacted. The Darwin casino was bought by Sky City in 2004 for $195m. It has 600 EGMs, 40 tables, 152 hotel rooms and 800 employees, and operates with a ‘long-term casino exclusivity and tax rate certainty.’
The casino is expected to fetch between AU$200m and AU$250m and comes with exclusive rights to operate a casino in Darwin until 2036. It accounted for 12 per cent of SkyCity’s GGR in 2017.
The company stated: “We continue to evaluate strategic options, including a full sale. Goldman Sachs has been engaged to test interest from selected parties. The property stabilised in 1H18 and is expected to deliver improved performance in 2H18. Darwin achieved a stable performance. A full or partial sale of our interest in the property remains a possibility at the right price. The company recently secured a five-year extension of our exclusive casino licence in Darwin out to 2036.”