In a move that allows it to grow its existing London portfolio, American casino operator Hard Rock International (HRI) has secured the casino premise license from the now-shuttered The Ritz Club.
The Florida-based company owned by HRI parent entity the Seminole Tribe of Florida stated in its Thursday press release that the transaction will allow it to “seek out and establish a new casino premise in London, continuing Hard Rock’s expansion into major gateway cities in the world.”
Complements existing offerings:
Responsible for nine casino properties throughout the United States alone, including the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City and the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood, Florida, as well as three planned casinos in Northern Indiana, Ottawa, Canada, and in Rockford, Illinois, the strategic move by the globally recognized brand “sets the stage” for establishing a casino that it says will complement the company’s many other offerings in international gateway cities around the world, such as Hollywood, Florida; Madrid; Paris; New York and many more.
Chairman of Hard Rock International, Jim Allen, said…
“We look forward to expanding our brand offerings within London and bringing our award-winning hospitality, gaming and entertainment to the birthplace of Hard Rock.”
In addition to its database of over 130 million customers and nearly 250 land-based venues spread across 76 countries, HRI also launched its Hard Rock Digital joint venture in December 2020, as the “exclusive vehicle” of Hard Rock and Seminole Gaming for sports betting and interactive gaming around the world.
To be headquartered in Hollywood, Florida, the major venture is to be led by gaming industry stalwarts Rafi Ashkenazi, Marlon Goldstein and Matt Primeaux in the roles of Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President respectively.
The Ritz Club permanently closed after temporarily suspending casino operations on March 19, 2020, due to COVID-19, just prior to the UK entering lockdown. Host to a score of celebrities over the years, the casino had reportedly not turned a profit since 2016 due in part to increased regulation and a decrease in the number of high rollers from the Far East.