Caesars scouts Japanese entertainment market

Jason Gastwirth, Caesars’ president of entertainment, confirmed in an exclusive interview with Asia Gaming Brief that he has entered into “initial discussions” with Japanese talent agencies and related groups to explore possible cooperation regarding programming at a potential theater for a Caesars IR in Japan.

Gastwirth noted, “Our pitch to the market has been that we are entertainment first.”

Gastwirth, who was in Japan last week for a series of business meetings, explained that Caesars’ approach to entertainment tends to “concentrate in theatre space.”

In Las Vegas and at other venues, performers such as Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez, and Gwen Stefani participate in Caesars’ “residency system,” which generally involves the high-profile artists performing in smaller theaters of about 4000-5000 people several times a week for periods of up to about a month. This sort of arrangement tends to allow more intimate and elaborate performances than is possible when such artists tour from city to city in giant arenas.

Gastwirth observes that “entertainment is the leading driver of trips to Las Vegas,” and that Caesars would like to create a similar effect for Japan in order to build “a true destination resort.”

Aside from musical acts, an IR theater in Japan could be used for sports and spectacle shows. Gastwirth says, “we’re trying to think through what’s going to be the type of programming that’s going to support that future.”