Publishing & Broadcasting, the Australian group controlled by James Packer, yesterday announced plans for a casino in Las Vegas. Financial Times

As part of its strategy to diversify away from media activities, PBL said it had formed a joint venture with Texan developer IDM Properties and York Capital Management, a New York private investment fund.

The consortium proposes to build and operate a casino next door to Fontainebleau, another casino and resort in which PBL recently bought a 20% stake.

An IDM subsidiary last year secured an option to purchase land on Las Vegas Boulevard for $475m.

In April, PBL formed a joint venture with Australian investment bank Macquarie to make a A$1.45bn (US$1.2bn) bid for Gateways Casinos, a big Canadian gaming company.

PBL is also expected to bid for new casino licences in the UK, where it already owns a 50% stake in Aspinalls, a casino operator.