Billionaire James Packer to abandon Las Vegas dream as land goes up for sale

  • Australian billionaire puts his Las Vegas plot up for sale
  • Crown Resorts looking to re-focus efforts on the domestic market

It seems that James Packer, the billionaire from Down Under, has given up on his dream of owning a casino on the famed Las Vegas strip. It has been reported that Packer is to put his Las Vegas land on the market, indicating that he is no longer interested in pursuing his casino plans.

James Packer looks, for now, to have given up on owning Las Vegas Strip casino.
James Packer looks, for now, to have given up on owning Las Vegas Strip casino.

Prime real estate

The Las Vegas parcel, which is now up for sale, is situated opposite of the famous Wynn Las Vegas. It is described as one of the best, if not the best, pieces of land to become available in Las Vegas in a long time, featuring 400m of strip frontage.

The parcel was purchased by Australia’s Crown Resorts, of which Mr Packer is a major shareholder, with the project worth about $2.5 billion. The new development was named Alon Las Vegas, and it was supposed to be a vast casino resort with 1,100 rooms, among other things.

However, things didn’t quite go as planned. Last year, in September, there were indications the company was having problems with financing the project. At that time, the billionaire stated that the construction was going to continue as planned, despite financial hardships.

However, only a couple of months later, Crown Resorts came out publically, announcing they were doing away with the Alon project. In the light of these facts, the announcement about the Las Vegas parcel being up for grabs doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

Crown Resorts turning back to Australia

For the last few years, Crown was focused on the plans to expand into new markets, Las Vegas being just one of the spots on their radar. However, just prior to definitely abandoning the project in the US, the Australian gambling giant had also ended a 12-year long partnership they had in Macau, abandoning their interest in Melco Crown.

According to the statement from the company, these moves come as a result of the shifting strategy, which wants to once again focus on the domestic market. Moving forward, Crown Resorts will be looking to improve their revenues in Australia and focusing on the completion of Crown Sydney by 2021.

The company still seems interested in entering the nascent Japanese gambling market. They are among the hopefuls looking to break in to what analysts have predicted is a $20 billion market.

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