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Hard Rock International Acquire Casino Premise Licence from The Ritz Club

Hard Rock International Acquire Casino Premise Licence from The Ritz Club

Hard Rock International is growing its existing UK portfolio by purchasing a casino premise licence from the now-shuttered The Ritz Club in London. The Florida-based company stated that this move will allow it to “establish a new casino premise” in the city. This step is just one of many that the company owned by HRI parent entity the Seminole Tribe of Florida is taking to become a force to be reckoned with in major cities all around the globe.

Hard Rock’s wish to expand “into major gateway cities in the world” is fast becoming true with HRI already having a well-established presence in Florida Hollywood, Paris, Amsterdam and Madrid among others. Despite losing the chance to include Greece in its ever-expanding portfolio, HRI has also been approved for a brand new resort in Virginia. The company’s next move is trying to establish a presence in Japan by getting in on their integrated resort industry. What is more, Hard Rock is also working to return to Las Vegas. In total, Hard Rock International has 12 casinos and 240 locations in over 69 countries.

Not much is yet known about HRI’s plans for London, or when Londoners will be seeing the iconic massive guitar on their premises, but it is not expected to happen any time soon. This is partly due to new Covid-19 issues which have forced new health and safety measurements to close down all places of entertainment as the UK was placed under another lockdown. HRI will be able to find the silver lining in the situation by taking all the time it needs to find the perfect spot for a new property. Seminole Gaming CEO and Hard Rock Chairman 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.”

HRI boasts a database of over 130 million customers scattered all over the globe, a database which will surely grow with HRI’s venture into the online gaming realm when it launched its Hard Rock Digital joint venture in December 2020. This is to be the “exclusive vehicle” of HRI and Seminole Gaming for sports betting and iGaming. The headquarters will be found in Hollywood, Florida and headed by three gaming industry stalwarts who were previously with The Stars Group (TSG). The executives who will help build the brand are former CEO Rafi Ashkenazi, former attorney Marlon Goldstein, and former head of TSG’s US operations Matt Primeaux. Their roles will be Executive Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, and President respectively.

In December of the same year, Jim Allen said “Hard Rock Digital also intends to pursue strategic branding and distribution opportunities both within the U.S. and globally. In the U.S. alone, the potential future market size is estimated [by Morgan Stanley analysts] at $7 billion for sports betting and $14 billion for online gaming.”

Turning to The Ritz Club, the casino permanently closed its doors after first suspending its operations temporarily on March 19, 2020 due to Covid-19, a few days before the UK entered its first lockdown. Although having hosted loads of celebrities over the years, the casino had not turned any real profits since 2016 due to increased regulations and a decrease in high-stakes gamblers hailing from the Far East.

Read about how 2020 impacted the gambling industry.

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