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ST. LOUIS-Locally-based Isle of Capri Casinos Inc. has sold its Coventry, UK asset to the Rank Group PLC. The Coventry casino as well as the lease on Ricoh Arena and the obligations attached to the gaming facility sold for $12.1 million. Alone, the casino was valued at $940,000. The deal will further Isle’s plans to completely exit the UK gaming industry in order to focus on its US holdings.

“We have taken a significant step forward in our plans to focus on U.S. operations by arranging for a discounted buy-out of the Coventry casino lease and sale of the Coventry casino operations to Rank,” says Donn Mitchell, SVP of Isle’s UK operations. “We are very pleased with the outcome of this transaction as the deal enables us to strategically exit the UK on good terms from all ongoing financial obligations, including our lease with the Ricoh arena.”

According to the company’s financial statements in March, the Conventry property held one of the lowest positions in terms of net revenue. For the three months ending January 25, the casino made $2.3 million, that’s compared to $3.2 million from the same quarter the year before. The lowest net revenue of a US locations was in Marquette, IA, where the casino made $5.8 million for the quarter. The Pompano, FL location charted the highest net revenue at $33.8 million.

When Isle initially developed the Coventry project in 2007, it was with the hopes that England’s gaming laws would change. “We built a magnificent facility in Coventry hoping to take advantage of changes in the UK gaming laws that did not occur, and have executed this deal in order to substantially mitigate the negative financial impact we expected to incur should we have continued to operate our facility there moving forward,” Mitchell says.

Isle, which began in 1992, now owns 17 casinos across the country. Its properties are located in Biloxi, Lula and Natchez, MI; Lake Charles, Louisiana; Bettendorf, Davenport, Marquette and Waterloo, IA; Boonville, Caruthersville and Kansas City, MO, two casinos in Black Hawk, CO, and a casino and harness track in Pompano Beach, FL.

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