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St. Maarten – Princess Casinos seeks to sell Port de Plaisance resort

By - 9 May 2014

In an interview in the Turkish press, Princess Casinos Managing Director, Güven Erarslan, stated that Princess is currently seeking a buyer for its location in St. Maarten in the Caribbean.

Speaking about the location Mr. Erarslan said: “Our resort in St. Maarten. Princess Port de Plaisance is a wonderful five-star hotel with excellent facilities and one of the biggest marinas in the whole of the Caribbean. It is a huge area with great development opportunities, for example, there is land enough for a golf course or to expand the existing hotel. However, we feel that this could be done best through a leading international chain and therefore we are looking for an investor to take over the property. With its unique location on this paradise island it is a very attractive offer and I am confident that we will find a buyer within the near future.”

Expanding as to the reasons for the sale, Mr. Erarslan explained the future direction of Princess Casinos in international markets. “I would like to see Princess Casinos become the number one casino house in Europe. With the right strategies, policies and investments, I do not think that this is very far off,” stated Mr. Erarslan. “Also, in the long term, our territory for investment will mainly be South America and the Far East. We have diversified in the past into other businesses which has proved to be a mistake. If we concentrate in the future on what we know best we should be able to keep our competitive advantage and reach our ambitious targets. We are focused and we have the resources to make things happen.”

Finally, discussing the possibility of casinos returning to Princess’ home market, Turkey, Mr. Erarslan added: “The current government has made contradictory statements with regards to the casino business. It looks like they need the money but they don’t want the bad publicity that they fear might come with it. Everybody knows that this government has some fundamentalist origin. Fundamentalists traditionally are against casinos. On the other hand, it is a government that is strong enough to make things happen. We don’t know what to expect but I have to say I am not overly optimistic. Politics is not something that you can understand from the outside looking in and it certainly doesn’t make sense all the time. Too many interest groups are involved. But it is a shame that at a time when all we want is to be part of Europe, we are the only country left in Europe without legaliSed gambling. Casino know-how is the only export Turkey has for which it has no use at home. But you never know, Turkish politicians are always good for a surprise. Right now we are doing well abroad and demand is higher than ever before.”

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