Despite Rumors Suggesting Otherwise, Hard Rock Denies Takeover Attempt of Star Entertainment

Written By Dan Holmes on May 23, 2024
Image of a sign for Hard Rock Atlantic City for a story on Hard Rock denying rumors that it would take over Star Entertainment.

Hard Rock International, which owns Hard Rock Atlantic City, denied claims this week that it was considering a takeover of Star Entertainment, which owns three casinos in Australia.

Last week, various news publications asserted that Star had received inquiries from Hard Rock International to possibly purchase or takeover the struggling gaming empire.

Now, it appears that Hard Rock – which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida and has several gaming interests in the US, obviously including in the Atlantic City casinos landscape – is not eying the Australian-based Star.

Hard Rock distances itself from troublesome company

It appears that Hard Rock has taken issue with its brand being tied to a possible purchase of Star Entertainment, and was surprised at the reports.

“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 International said via its public relations firm.

“Hard Rock International has similarly not authorized the use of the Hard Rock brand in connection with any proposed bid for Star by any third party.”

In the past 18 months, Star Entertainment has faced several problems, including accusations of allegedly inviting known criminals to play in its casinos, as well as inadequate anti-money laundering safeguards.

Earlier this year, Star chairman David Foster resigned just as his company was facing fines and penalties. Throughout the turmoil, the Star’s three casinos have remained open for business. Star Entertainment owns and operates casino resorts in Brisbane, Sydney, and the Gold Coast.

Acquisition rumors not completely unwarranted

Tying Hard Rock to Star Entertainment is not completely without some justification.

After all, just last month, Hard Rock Digital bought US assets from 888 Holdings plc for an undisclosed amount.

That deal, which began spelling the end of 888’s US-based sports betting dealings, expects to close later this year.

Certainly Hard Rock looks to climb the ladder and challenge the upper echelon of gambling companies, especially in the New Jersey online casino market. The Star Entertainment rumors would not necessarily affect Hard Rock’s standing in the Garden State.

But they did at least confirm that Hard Rock is looking to build up its portfolio and empire to give itself a chance to earn the moniker of legal gambling king.

Photo by Wayne Parry / AP Photo
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a contributing writer for PlayNJ. He has written three boooks about sports and previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as Major League Baseball. An avid writer, runner and enjoyer of lemon bars, Dan lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and, oftentimes, a nearby orange cream soda.

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