SkyCity Entertainment has confirmed it had signed an agreement to sell the Darwin business it has owned for 14 years to the New York-based company, Delaware North.

The purchase agreement is subject to the approval of the Northern Territory Attorney-General, Natasha Fyles.

The deal excludes the beachfront Little Mindil site which it will sell separately.

Earlier this year the Australian Financial Review reported the casino complex could be worth between $200 and $250 million.

New Zealand company SkyCity Entertainment is believed to have paid $195 million for the complex in 2004.

SkyCity chief executive Graeme Stephens said the sale “is a good outcome for SkyCity, the resort’s staff, and the city of Darwin”.

He said while the resort has been performing better financially over the past 12 months, SkyCity’s future strategy had the company looking closer to its New Zealand home base and its expanding casino facilities in Adelaide.

He also said all the company’s 650 staff will be retained once the change of ownership takes effect.

The deal includes 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 spaces.

SkyCity’s association with Darwin will continue through the ongoing use of the casino’s VIP facilities for at least the next two years, subject to availability.

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

Delaware North already has significant interests throughout Australia, including Kings Canyon in Central Australia and Lizard Island resort on the Great Barrier Reef. It also provides the food &beverage services at a range of venues and events, including the Darwin Airport, the Australian Open tennis tournament, the Sydney Cricket Ground and Marvel Stadium in Melbourne.

Delaware North’s global operations include regional casinos (12 in the USA), high-profile entertainment and sports venues, national parks, destination resorts, and restaurants and airports.


Sources: ABC and NT News