Seminoles plan global Hard Rock reach

Amy Scott Jun 26, 2007


Doug Krizner: More Hard Rock cafes will soon be popping up on the other side of the planet. The company is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida. They’ve announced plans to build Hard Rock cafes, hotels and casinos throughout Asia and Eastern Europe, as Amy Scott reports.

Amy Scott: The Seminole tribe has come a long way since it opened its first bingo hall in 1979 — earlier this year, the tribe paid $965 million to buy Hard Rock International from Britain’s Rank group.

Now tribal leaders say they plan to expand the business in China and India, Eastern Europe and South America. They’ll also close some outlets in the U.S. and U.K. Eugene Christiansen is a consultant to the gaming industry — he says it’s a good move.

Eugene Christiansen: They, like perhaps a dozen other tribes, have cash to invest. Diversifying their investment portfolio is a logical thing to do. It’s something we would advise, and I’m sure you’ll see more of it.

The Hard Rock chain made almost $75 million in profit last year. Future proceeds will pay for schools and social services on the tribe’s six reservations. Any surplus goes directly to tribe members.

I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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