U.K. gaming expansion
attracts casino guru

Apr 16, 2003 4:40 AM

For some time, Sol Kerzner, the South African casino mogul, wanted to get involved in what his company, Kerzner International Limited (KZL) sees as Britain’s gambling explosion.

Last year, he received one of three Internet gaming licenses from the Isle of Man but within months found that the effort was not working and he was forced to terminate the Internet attempt.

Last week, Kerzner jumped into the thick of things by acquiring a gaming license for an undeveloped property located in the town center of Northampton, England. He bought the license for $2 million from cash-strapped London Clubs. The town of Northampton is about 75 miles north of London and has about 1.3 million people within a 25-mile radius.

In announcing the purchase, Sol’s son Butch Kerzner, president of KZL, remarked, "For the last couple of years we have been looking for the right opportunity to enter the UK gaming market in anticipation of upcoming deregulation. We are very pleased to take this initial step in Northampton, and we anticipate that this will be just the beginning in establishing a significant business presence in the United Kingdom as deregulation begins to be implemented."

Kerzner International Limited’s best-known casino property is the Atlantis, a 2,317 room, ocean-themed resort located on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The company also has recurring revenue from its participation in the development and operation of the Mohegan Sun Resort as a partner in Trading Cove.