Caesars Palace Exits Dubai Just as the UAE Moves Toward Legalized Gaming

The property will be rebranded as a Banyan Tree resort as of November.

(Bloomberg) — Caesars Palace, one of the best-known names in casino gambling, will leave Dubai just as the United Arab Emirates develops a framework for legalized betting.

The resort, located on a manmade island, will be rebranded in November as a Banyan Tree property, according to a statement. The deal was formalized in an agreement signed on Wednesday between hotel giant Accor SA and Dubai Holding, an investment firm owned by the emirate’s ruler.

The United Arab Emirates this month announced it had set up a regulator for legalized gaming and lotteries, led by casino industry veterans. 

Wynn Resorts Ltd. is planning a $3.9 billion gaming resort in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, which is north of Dubai. The company’s chief executive officer, Craig Billings, said last month that he expected to receive a gaming license “imminently.”

There’s been speculation over whether casinos will come to Dubai. Several properties appear to be poised to capitalize on the development if it comes, but city officials have said they are undecided.

A spokeswoman for Caesars Entertainment Inc. didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Caesars Palace opened in Dubai in 2018 with the goal of opening a casino, Caesars Entertainment CEO Thomas Reeg said during an earnings call in 2022.

“That was the original thought when Caesars struck that deal in Dubai, that maybe ultimately, the UAE would have gaming,” he said. “If there’s an opportunity, you should expect that we would be active and our brand and building is already open.”

The Banyan Tree project is the first of several in the pipeline in partnership with Dubai Holding, according to Accor.

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