INDUSTRY insiders believe billionaire Clive Palmer could reveal as early as next week his plans for a casino at Coolum.
The mining mogul is the keynote speaker at a major tourism conference on the Sunshine Coast on Thursday, his speech billed as Reinvigorating Australian Tourism.
Dreamtime Resorts visitor accommodation group director Garry McKenzie said he expected a surprise announcement was looming.
Mr Palmer denied he will use his "Coolum Casino" trademark to open a mini gambling hub at his Coast resort. But tourism bodies have sounded a collective voice of support for a boutique casino to attract rich Asians to holiday on the Coast.
"Mr Palmer has the resources and the clout to be a major tourism player on the Sunshine Coast and his claims that he has no plans to build a casino are at odds with the fact he has sought a trademark for the Coolum Casino brand," Mr McKenzie said.
"Gambling and a casino would be major attractions for the Asian visitor market."
Mr Palmer bought the Regency Coolum resort in August and renamed it the Coolum Resort and Spa.
It is where the Australian Tourism Export Council Symposium will be held next Thursday and Friday.
Mr McKenzie said it would be the "ideal moment for Mr Palmer to announce his intentions" for his Coolum resort.
Kings Beach Rolling Surf Resort owner Anne Fredericks said the Coast would be popular for Asian visitors seeking good golf courses, but they would expect a casino over pokies.