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Crown Resorts to break ground on Vegas project in 2015

The

CrownResorts
Australian casino company Crown Resorts has announced plans to build a new casino-resort in Las Vegas

Headed by billionaire James Packer, Crown has spent $280m on the project thus far, including buying a 35-acre plot on Las Vegas Boulevard on the site of the legendary Frontier casino.

"You can't be in the gaming industry and not have a special reverence for Las Vegas – that's where it all began," said Packer.

"We've always kept our eye on Las Vegas ... we now have the ideal opportunity."

Crown will be building the casino in partnership with Andrew Pascal, former President and COO of Wynn Las Vegas, with financial support from hedge fund giant Oaktree Capital Management.

For over 25 years, I’ve studied the ever‐shifting Las Vegas landscape,” said Pascal. “I’ve always been inspired by this city’s capacity for reinvention. I’m excited to have my hand in crafting something new and fresh for the resurgent Las Vegas market.”

Crown already has casino projects in Sri Lanka, Macau, Australia and the Philippines, but investment analysts Morningstar said a Vegas property would establish Crown as an "end-to-end operator" and appeal to VIP gamblers.

In 2009 Packer lost an estimated $250m investing in the Fontainebleau development in Las Vegas.

While that project was scuppered by the recession which severely affected Las Vegas, the latest financial reports paint a rosy picture for Nevada.

Gambling revenue on the Las Vegas Strip rose 3.5% year-on-year during the first half of 2014 and revenue per available hotel room in the area rose 9.9%.

Union Gaming Research analyst Robert Shore said: "All the development coming to Las Vegas collectively lends credence to the Strip recovery story, which was further highlighted by today's news as very smart and highly sophisticated gaming investors and developers are looking to deploy their capital in the market."
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