Is Australia's richest man building a hotel in Las Vegas?

A dormant site on the Las Vegas Strip, which once housed the New Frontier, could become active again. The Bloomberg News Service reported that Australian billionaire James Packer had acquired a portion of the loan covering the 34.5-acre site and would consider building a hotel-casino on the land.

Further reporting was done by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Packer is majority owner of casino operator Crown Resorts in Australia and jointly owns Melco Crown Entertainment, a Hong Kong company that has casinos in Macau.

Union Gaming Group analyst Robert Shore told investors in a research note Thursday that “discussions, proposals, and even speculation around large-scale projects speak to ongoing and increasing interest in Las Vegas assets.”

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Packer's name surfaced in April as a potential buyer for The Cosmopolitan hotel, which was ultimately acquired by the Blackstone Group for $1.73 billion.

According to Bloomberg, Packer bought a piece of a loan backed by the empty Strip property and is negotiating a potential deal with other creditors including Oaktree Capital Group.


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