Hard Rock Denies It’s Pursuing Australian Casino Company

Written By Dan Holmes on May 22, 2024
The Star Casino in Sydney, Australia

Hard Rock International vehemently denies a report that it is attempting to purchase the struggling Star Entertainment in Australia.

Star’s stock soared 20% on May 20 after the Australian Financial Review report. It sunk back down a day later after Hard Rock, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, issued a statement saying it is not negotiating to purchase Star.

“We want to make it clear that Hard Rock International is not involved in, nor has it authorized, any discussions, activities, or negotiations on its behalf in connection with a proposed bid for Star.”

Hard Rock owns casino resorts throughout the U.S. and a casino in Canada. However, its properties outside North America are only resort hotels. The Australian business would be its first casino outside the continent.

Source of Claim is Still Unclear

The Seminoles own six casinos in Florida, two of them with the Hard Rock brand. The tribe also controls all Florida sports betting, online through its Hard Rock Bet app. Florida online casinos remain illegal.

It’s unclear what Australian Financial Review’s source was for the claim. Star reportedly said it had received interest from some possible investors, without naming any of them.

In its statement, Hard Rock said it could seek legal action. It reiterated that it had not “authorized the use of the Hard Rock brand in connection with any proposed bid for Star by any third party.”

Star Chairman Recently Resigned

Star Entertainment owns and operates three casinos in Queensland:

  • Treasury Casino & Hotel in Brisbane
  • The Star Gold Coast in Broadbeach
  • The Star in Sydney

In recent years, the company has struggled under massive debt and lagging earnings. In 2021, it came under scrutiny for allegedly having inadequate security against money laundering.

A year later, the Queensland government ruled that Star was not suitable to hold a gaming license or operate casinos in light of an investigation that revealed it failed to protect against fraud. That decision hangs over the company as a legal battle begins to sort out the issues.

Last month, Star Chairman David Foster resigned following revelations the company was under further investigation by Queensland authorities.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributor for PlayFL with plenty of experience under his belt. Dan has written three books about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. He also has extensive experience covering the launch of sports betting in other states, including Ohio, Massachusetts and Maryland. Currently, Dan is residing in Michigan with his family.

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