London Clubs considers float of Vegas casino in New York

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The Independent Online

London Clubs International, the international casino operator, is looking to float Aladdin, its recently-opened Las Vegas casino, on the New York Stock Exchange. The casino is said to be worth £600m.

London Clubs International, the international casino operator, is looking to float Aladdin, its recently-opened Las Vegas casino, on the New York Stock Exchange. The casino is said to be worth £600m.

Alan Goodenough, LCI's chief executive, has indicated that the group could sell a stake of 20 per cent in the business to American investors, reducing its exposure to the project by about 50 per cent. The casino cost $1.3bn (£870m) to build, $220m more than had been expected.

LCI's investment in Aladdin marks the first foray by a British gambling group into the Las Vegas market. LCI took part in the project to reduce its exposure to the fiercely competitive London gaming market, which has proved static in value in recent years. Analysts say Aladdin, which opened this month after a four-month delay, could generate £10m in annual revenues.

The Aladdin casino is situated on the famous Las Vegas Strip beside more established casinos such as Caesar's Palace and New York, New York.

LCI's partner in the Aladdin venture, called Aladdin Gaming, is the Sigmund Somner Trust, the American property group which is headed by Jack Somner.

LCI initially took a 25 per cent stake in Aladdin Gaming for $50m, later buying a further 15 per cent for $30m.

Construction began on the 35-acre complex site in Las Vegas in April 1998 after Aladdin Gaming had raised $115m in a bond issue, thereby paving the way for the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, which formerly occupied the site, to be demolished.

London Clubs International, which owns 50 St James and Les Ambassadeurs in London's West End, has also diversified into the British regions and plans to open casinos in Brighton and Southend next summer.

LCI saw operating profits fall £100,000 last year to £14.9m after two individuals enjoyed what it called a "lucky streak" at 50 St James.

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