LONDON (Reuters) – U.S. casino firm Caesars Entertainment Inc. and Quintain Estates have formed a joint venture to turn the area around London’s Wembley Stadium into a $600 million leisure and gambling resort. The 50-50 joint venture, Caesars’ first foray into the European casino market, would include a 400-room luxury hotel, conference facilities, a casino, shops, restaurants and bars, Britain’s Quintain Estates & Development Plc said Tuesday. “Wembley promises to become one of Europe’s top new leisure destinations,” Caesars Chief Executive Wallace Barr said in a statement.
“With that in mind, Wembley is a natural location for our first European casino project … Wembley is a name known around the world and is synonymous with the best in entertainment.” The plan to transform the 650,000 square foot space around England’s redeveloped national stadium. It includes revamping the Wembley Arena music venue as well as the construction of Britain’s biggest cinema complex, Caesars said.
Last month, the UK government gave Quintain approval to redevelop the land by the stadium, the site of England’s World Cup soccer victory in 1966 which is being rebuilt. Quintain said at that time it expected to start building by the end of the year and planned for the first new areas of public space to be ready in time for the reopening of the stadium in 2006. The project is still subject to planning approval and reform of Britain’s gambling laws, which are expected to be overhauled in a new Act that should begin its passage through parliament later this year. Quintain shares closed at 460 pence Monday.