Caesars Entertainment sets its sights on the Gold Coast

Caesars PalaceOne of the world’s casino giants has set its sights on Australia, with investors scoping out the Gold Coast as the potential site for its first Australian project.

Caesars Entertainment is one of the biggest names in the global casino industry and is behind one of the most famous casino resorts in Las Vegas, Caesars Palace. If you’ve ever watched The Hangover, this is the casino that forms the backdrop for the groups wild night, solidified in movie history forever when Zach Galifianakis asked the hotel receptionist, “This isn’t the real Caesar’s Palace is it? Did Caesar live here?”

The entertainment group, which includes casino brands Harrah’s and Horseshoe, has more than 50 properties across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Egypt and South Africa.

President of international development for Caesars, Steven Tight, visited the Gold Coast several weeks ago to scope out the area for potential development. During his visit, he met with Gold Coast Tourism chairman Paul Donovan to discuss other developments underway in the region and to get an idea of tourism figures.

Mr Tight told the Gold Coast Bulletin, “We are currently doing our internal feasibility study on whether another large-scale integrated resort could be supported in the Gold Coast market.

“All I can say at this point is Caesars Entertainment continues to evaluate opportunities throughout the region to expand our network of world-class properties.”

He said more would be revealed in due course once the proper research had been conducted.

Mr Donovan was enthusiastic about the prospect of Caesars setting up shop on the Gold Coast, saying “It’s the holiday destination of choice in Australia and anything that brings that entertainment aspect and can add more value, we would have to be in sync with.”

Is the Gold Coast Australia’s next casino hub?

If Caesars decide to put a proposal forward, we can only imagine it will be met with a mix of fervour and fury from Gold Coast residents, who are already up in arms about another proposed integrated casino resort at the Gold Coast Spit.

Chinese owned ASF consortium have put forward a $3 billion plan that would include a high-end casino, retail outlets, multiple dining spaces and five 45 story hotel and apartment towers. The project has the potential to create around 13,000 new jobs and generate millions of dollars for the state’s tourism industry, but it has been met with staunch criticism from community groups who are concerned about the impact on the environment and don’t want a casino near family-friendly facilities.

The Spit is also notorious for traffic congestion, with ASF’s plans sparking concern about how the influx of additional traffic would be managed.

Concerns about ASF’s project have also been voiced from The Star Entertainment Group, who recently took over the Gold Coast’s original integrated resort, Jupiters Casino.

The Star Gold Coast is in the process of adding a luxurious six-star hotel tower at the front of the property ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Star also has approval from the Queensland Government to build a new 200-meter hotel and apartment tower on Broadbeach Island, and the group is concerned the ASF’s development could impact its multi-million expansion plans.

Earlier this year, ASF director Louis Chien said the consortiums plans were about building a bigger cake, rather than “slicing the same cake in smaller pieces.”

If Caesars Entertainment continues to show interest in the Gold Coast, that cake will need to be divided even further, but it would mean more jobs and a stronger tourism market for Queenslanders.