Matt Bekier
Matt Bekier

Casino giant quits Coast expansion plan

A global icon in gaming resorts has cashed out its chips and quit its interest in developing a casino on the Gold Coast. But dozens of other companies are circling the multi-billion dollar project.

The top Queensland bureaucrat behind the GTH process has confirmed to the Gold Coast Bulletin that Caesars Entertainment - behind the iconic Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and with resorts worldwide - was no longer interested.

TOURISM LEADERS BACK SECOND CASINO

Tourism Department Director-General Damien Walker said: "The clear advice to the department is that this decision by the company was a result of internal company changes and not the attractiveness of the Gold Coast market as an investment opportunity,"

"This is not a concern as there are many global entertainment companies from markets across Asia and the United States who have a registered interest in delivering a new multi-billion integrated resort on the Gold Coast creating thousands of new jobs."

Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)
Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. (L.E. Baskow/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)

POKIE NUMBERS CLIMB ON GOLD COAST

About a dozen major players including American and Asian firms have registered interest after the Labor State Government opened an invitation to develop a Gold Coast GTH.

A $17.3 billion corporate merger appears to be what killed off any chance of casino giant Caesar Entertainment Group Palace bidding.

The gaming giant has merged with fellow US operator Eldorado Resorts and is now taking a more conservative approach to overseas investment.

The move is a boost for entertainment and gaming giant Hard Rock which has also been courting the State Government for the second casino licence.

There are still at least a dozen players at the table to be involved in the global tourism hub.
There are still at least a dozen players at the table to be involved in the global tourism hub.

SHOCK REASON THESE SHOPS ARE CLOSING

Eldorado boss Tom Reeg revealed the new company's strategy in a call with investors this week.

"No firm decisions on international have been made yet," he said.

"The opportunity internationally will have to be stupendous for us to run in that direction."

The change of heart also puts the future of the company's already under construction casino in Korean as well as interests in Japan.

Caesar's first expressed an interest in expanding its interests to the Gold Coast two years ago.

In July 2017 the Bulletin revealed the company was in talks with ASF Consortium which at the time was planning a $3 billion integrated resort on The Spit.

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Caesars was previously interested in partnering in ASF consortium's Integrated Resort before it was shelved by the State Government.
Caesars was previously interested in partnering in ASF consortium's Integrated Resort before it was shelved by the State Government.

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Caesar's international development president Steven Tight visited the city and conducted a feasibility study into becoming involved in the project.

However, that development was dumped by the State Government less than a month later.

However in the past year it expressed an interest in bidding on the global tourism project, which the Palaszczuk Government is moving forward with.

Mr Tight returned to the Gold Coast in February 2018 and met with government officials and Mayor Tom Tate.

He told the Bulletin at the time the entertainment giant was open to partnerships.

He said the visit was to "better understand the current situation and maintain relationships with the various stakeholders."

"We are still analysing the market internally and are waiting for the Government's tender process," he said.

"We will then evaluate the eventual site once identified and decide whether or not to bid. We haven't had detailed discussions with potential partners, but in the past we have brought in partners in other recent Caesars projects,"

Mr Tight and fellow executives also had a separate dinner with Gold Coast tourism bigwigs at Mamasan Broadbeach.