Delaware North expands Australian footprint with $137m SkyCity Darwin

Global hospitality and entertainment firm Delaware North is expanding its Australian operations, with the $137m (AU$188m) purchase of the Northern Territory’s SkyCity Darwin from Australia and New Zealand casino operator SkyCity Entertainment Group.

Contingent on the Buffalo headquartered organisation gaining the necessary financing and approvals, the deal excludes the adjacent Little Mindil property, which SkyCity details it plans to sell separately at a future date.

SkyCity Darwin features 600 electronic gaming machines, more than 30 table games, four restaurants, five bars, a beachfront resort, VIP super villas with gaming suites, a day spa and a variety of conference space.

Lou Jacobs, co-CEO of Delaware North, commented: “Australia has been a second home for Delaware North for 30 years. We are thrilled to have grown our business into a diversity of operations across the country, which has been possible because of our incredibly talented and diverse workforce of more than 10,000 people.

“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.”

Via the sale SkyCity details that it is to allow the firm to concentrate its Australian operations on Adelaide, although the company’s association with Darwin is to continue via the ongoing use of the casino’s VIP facilities for at least the next two years (subject to availability).

The company also retains the right to operate an online casino in partnership with Delaware North, should a licence be granted in the future.

Graeme Stephens, SkyCity’s group chief executive, added: “I’m really pleased that following a very competitive tender process, Delaware North has emerged as the successful bidder.

“They are a highly respected and well-established hospitality and gaming company, and I’m very comfortable handing over the business we have built up over the past 14 years to an operator of this calibre.

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

“Since we purchased the business in 2004 we’ve developed Darwin’s casino into an integrated entertainment destination, refurbishing the resort, adding new restaurants, bars and VIP facilities, a new 5-star resort hotel and supporting various community events.

“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.’’

SkyCity will continue running the business until regulatory approval is received.