|Isle of Capri Casinos are the first American Company to have been given the green light by the UK Gaming Board. They can now go ahead with the acquisition of a majority interest in Blue Chip Casinos Plc. Isle of Capri will acquire a two-thirds interest in Blue Chip Casinos Plc for five million pounds sterling ($8 million). The remaining one-third interest of Blue Chip is held by British private investors. Blue Chip is acquiring the Castle Casino located in Dudley, England, near Birmingham, and also received consent to develop and operate two other properties in that area.|
Bernard Goldstein, Isle of Capri Casinos chairman and chief executive officer, said, 'Isle of Capri has been a pioneer in the regional gaming industry in the United States, and we continue that tradition by being the first American casino company to enter the United Kingdom market.'
Timothy M. Hinkley, president and chief operating officer of the Isle of Capri, said, 'Through our ownership in Blue Chip, we believe we gain an advantage -- giving us valuable experience prior to enactment of the proposed UK gaming reforms. This is the company's first step in our UK strategy, applying our proven business model of being first in regional markets with a highly branded product. We look forward to introducing Isle Style gaming to the United Kingdom.'
Also, as recently announced, Isle of Capri has signed Heads of Terms to own and operate a 100,000-square-foot entertainment complex, including an Isle of Capri Casino, in Coventry, England adjacent to the City's planned football arena. The project is subject to receiving all necessary approvals.
Isle of Capri regards the United Kingdom as the cornerstone of its international expansion. Isle plans several additional regional entertainment complexes which will feature an Isle of Capri casino, as well as development of a local-market Isle Club concept.