SKYCITY has sold its Darwin casino and resort as its moves to focus on other areas of its business.
SKYCITY has sold its Darwin casino and resort as its moves to focus on other areas of its business.

US hospitality and hotel management giant Delaware North has successfully tendered as the buyer of SKYCITY Darwin in a deal worth AUD$188 million.

Excluding the land on which the resort sits, the deal transfers ownership of the property over to the American hospitality juggernaut comes as a result of SKYCITY’s future strategy in which it preferences its growing Adelaide casino operations and a desire to bring its business back to its home base of New Zealand. A separate tender process to find as buyer for the beachfront land will take place soon.

The deal is pending Territory regulatory approvals and SKYCITY will remain in control until approvals are granted.

SKYCITY purchased the casino operation in 2004 and since then has expanded the site to include a new five-star resort hotel, new restaurants, bars, VIP facilities for high-rollers, multiple refurbishments and support to community events and organisations.

Following the sale, SKYCITY will retain use of the property’s VIP facilities for at least the next two years. Rights have also been reserved for an online casino to be jointly operated if a licence is granted in the future.

Labelling Australia as “a second home” for Delaware North for the past three decades, the company’s co-CEO Lou Jacobs expressed his delight at the sale.

“With SKYCITY Darwin, we are expanding our presence in the gaming and entertainment market. We look forward to working with SKYCITY Entertainment Group to welcome their employees at SKYCITY Darwin to the Delaware North family.”

SKYCITY Entertainment Group CEO Graeme Stephens said the sale is a good outcome for the company, the resort’s staff and the city overall.

“Selling was not an easy decision. We’re proud of our contribution to Darwin and the Northern Territory over the past 14 years.

“So now feels like the right time to hand the baton across to a new owner to continue the next stage in Darwin casino’s journey,” Stephens added.