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Seminole Indian Tribe Acquires All Hard Rock Property

The Seminole Tribe of South Florida has just purchased the Hard Rock business which includes 124 Cafes, four hotels, two casinos, and two concert venues. The deal was made by the Tribe and Hard Rock owning company, Rank Group PLC, today for more than $965 million.

The Seminole Tribe gets everything the Rank Group owned through Hard Rock including the largest collection of rock memorabilia in the world. Such rock items the Tribe has acquired are Jimi Hendrix's Flying V Guitar, Elton John's high heel shoes, Madonna's bustier, and many more guitars played by such stars as Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, and Chuck Berry.

Rank Group, PLC has been selling off businesses to focus purely on its Mecca Bingo and casino operations. By doing so, Rank believes it will be in a better position to tackle issues such as the introduction of a smoking ban in England next year. The company announced that it would return $690 million of the sale's proceeds to shareholders in a special dividend of $1.28 per share.

The Seminole Tribe gained its riches through the casinos it owned and operated in Florida, starting with the first Indian owned bingo hall in 1979. It owes a large part of its current success to the addition of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino it opened up a few years ago in Hollywood, Florida. It is reported that more than 90% of the tribe's revenue comes from gambling earnings.

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