Caesars Entertainment Corporation

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This article is about the company known as "Harrah's Entertainment" before 2010. For the company Harrah's acquired in 2005, see Caesars Entertainment, Inc..
Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Industry Gaming, Hospitality, Tourism
Founded October 30, 1937
as Harrah's
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
November 23, 2010
Renamed as Caesars Entertainment
Headquarters Paradise, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Key people
Gary Loveman
(Chairman, President & CEO)
Products Resort, Casino, World Series of Poker, Total Rewards
Revenue Decrease US$ 8.56 billion (2013)
Decrease US$ -2.24 billion (2013)
Decrease US$ -2.95 billion (2013)
Number of employees
70,000 (2012)
Slogan The Premier name in Casino Entertainment
Former headquarters and current corporate offices

Caesars Entertainment Corporation (formerly Harrah's Entertainment from 1995 to 2010) is an American public gaming corporation that owns and operates over 50 casinos and hotels, and seven golf courses under several brands. The company, based in Paradise, Nevada, is the fourth-largest gaming company in the world,[1] with annual revenues of $8.6 billion (2013). Caesars is a public company, with a joint venture of Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital owning a large portion of the stock and The Blackstone Group also holding a significant stake.[2][3]

The name change from "Harrah's Entertainment Inc." to "Caesars Entertainment Corporation" was made official on November 23, 2010. Harrah's remains a key brand in the company. On November 5, 2010, Harrah's announced an initial public offering of 31,250,000 shares but retracted this offering on November 19. On January 15, 2015 Caesars Entertainment's operating unit filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy.[4]


William F. Harrah era (1937–1978)[edit]

The company known as Harrah's Entertainment was founded on October 30, 1937, as a small bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada, operated by William F. Harrah.[5][6] The company went public in 1971 with 450,000 shares. Following that in 1972, it was listed on the American Stock Exchange and in 1973, Harrah's became the first casino company listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Company founder William F. Harrah died on June 30, 1978 of complications from aortic aneurysm and cardiac surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, at the age of 66.

Post William F. Harrah era[edit]

Under Holiday Inn[edit]

In February 1980, Holiday Inn acquired Harrah's, Inc. who operated two hotel casinos in Reno and Lake Tahoe, the auto collection in Reno, and private residences. The auto collection was the largest in the world, a frequent source of vehicles for Hollywood movie producers, and a major tourism attraction for Reno. Liquidation of the assets in that collection, including almost 7,000 antique automobiles, reportedly returned the full purchase price of both hotels and casinos to Holiday Inn. Holiday Inn at the time had 1,600 hotels and interests in two casinos, a casino under construction in the marina district in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and a 40 percent ownership interest in River Boat Casino, a casino adjacent to the Holiday Inn hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.[6][7] In November of that year, Harrah's Atlantic City opened.[6] In July 1987, Bill's Casino Lake Tahoe opened.[6] Harrah's Laughlin opened in August 1988.[6]

The Promus Companies[edit]

In January 1990, Bass PLC acquired the Holiday Inn hotel business. The Promus Companies was created to retain the remaining assets and brands and began stock trading a month later.[6] Next year, the company's headquarters moved from Reno to Memphis, Tennessee[7] In April 1992 – The company acquired its first Las Vegas property in April 1992 as Holiday Casino was converted to a Harrah's casino.[6] In May 1993, Harrah's Joliet opened.[6] Six months later, Horizon Casino, Mississippi in Vicksburg, Mississippi and Harrah's Tunica opened.[6] In April 1994, Harrah's Shreveport (now Sam's Town)[8] opened.[6] Harrah's Phoenix Ak-Chin opened in December 1994.

Renamed as Harrah's Entertainment, Inc.[edit]

Harrah's former logo

Purchase of Caesars Entertainment[edit]

  • June 13, 2005 – Harrah's completed the takeover of Caesars Entertainment, Inc.. While the companies were not required to divest any properties, they did sell several properties before the merger was completed. This merger made Harrah's the largest gambling company[citation needed] with over 4 million square feet (370,000 m²) of casinos, almost 100,000 employees and over 40 casinos.[6] Later that month, the company announced that they would consolidate all their brand names under the Harrah's, Rio, Caesars, and Horseshoe brands. The company also took ownership of the Caesars Palace at Sea operations on Crystal Cruises ships.[10] Some standalone names, like Paris Las Vegas are likely to be retained. The rebranding of the two remaining Bally's properties in the company is scheduled, but a specific time line has not been disclosed.[citation needed] This acquisition took the number of casinos owned by Harrah's in Las Vegas from 2 to 6.
  • September 2005 – Harrah's Pride of Lake Charles was severely damaged by Hurricane Rita. One riverboat was pushed completely onshore. All of the restaurants and support buildings were destroyed. Harrah's closed its Lake Charles operations shortly thereafter.
  • November 29, 2005 – Harrah's Entertainment announced plans to sell the Flamingo Laughlin to AREP Boardwalk Properties LLC. The $170 million sale closed on May 19, 2006. As a condition of the sale, the property is to be renamed the Aquarius within 6 months.
  • December 2005 - Harrah’s acquires the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas for $370 million. The Imperial Palace occupies an 18.5-acre (7.5 ha) site directly between Harrah’s Las Vegas and the Flamingo. A year later the company announced that they intended to implode the IP, but later that decision is rescinded. This acquisition takes the number of casinos owned by Harrah's in Las Vegas from 6 to 7.
  • December 12, 2005 – the Grand Casino Gulfport sale was announced for an undisclosed amount to Gulfside Casino Partnership. Gulfside is the owner of the Copa Casino, next to the Grand Casino. The Grand Casino Biloxi is to be rebuilt from scratch as Margaritaville Casino and Resort.
  • April 23, 2006 – a scavenger hunt style promotion called "Treasure Hunt" ended when an accident seriously hurt one employee and tourist, and killed one tourist. The accident happened when a robbery suspect fleeing police hit a mini-van carrying the Harrah's employee and tourists.
  • May 26, 2006 – in Las Vegas, NV, Harrah's acquired a 19.6-acre (7.9 ha) site behind, but not adjacent to the Imperial Palace with frontage on Koval Lane. The cost for the land was $164.4 million. The site is currently occupied by the Desert Club Apartments.

Company goes private[edit]

  • October 2, 2006 – The Wall Street Journal reported that private-equity firms would buy Harrah's Entertainment for $15.05 billion in one of the largest leveraged buyouts in history. A number of private-equity firms, including Texas Pacific Group and Apollo Global Management were involved in the talks. The company also announced plans to trade 24 acres (9.7 ha) on the Las Vegas Strip for the Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino. Following approval from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), state gaming commissions and by shareholders, the stock (NYSE HET) was delisted on January 28, 2008 and the company was taken private by Hamlet Holdings.[2]
  • December 2006 – Harrah's acquired London Clubs International for $568 million. Harrah's announced Casino Windsor would be renamed as Caesars Windsor and would receive multiple upgrades to the physical premises.[11]
  • February 2007 - Barbary Coast (the 7th casino in Las Vegas) is acquired in a land swap with Boyd Gaming and is renamed Bill's Gamblin' Hall and Saloon, named after company founder Bill Harrah. The new casino is very small, but provides another piece of contiguous land for future development in Las Vegas.
  • November 2007 - Harrah's acquired the Orient Golf Club on the Cotai Strip in Macau for approximately US$580 million. The land area is roughly 180 acres (73 ha).[citation needed]
  • January 2008 - Harrah's assumes $20 billion in debt when private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Texas Pacific Group acquired the company.
  • April 9, 2008 – Harrah's Entertainment's board of directors approved a corporate name change to Caesars Entertainment Corporation. This change will capitalize on the international name recognition enjoyed on the Caesars name brand. The Harrah's brand remains one of the company's three primary casino brands.[12]

The LINQ[edit]

December 1, 2009 - Harrah's filed applications with Nevada gaming regulators seeking approval to acquire the Planet Hollywood Casino, which is next to their Las Vegas properties. This acquisition will be their 8th casino in Las Vegas.[13] Harrah's assembled all of its existing Las Vegas properties, by purchasing existing resorts beginning in April 1992. It was widely announced in previous years that the company planned to implode properties and build new ones from scratch, but after the market downturn the company conceded that it had little experience in building major resorts. Instead it developed Project LINQ in 2009, which calls for retaining and improving all existing buildings while adding a collection of about 20 restaurants and bars to be built along a winding corridor between the company's O'Sheas and Flamingo casinos, on the east side of the Strip. It is an attempt to create the kind of entertainment district that has developed organically in cities such as Los Angeles, Memphis and New Orleans yet is lacking on the Strip, with its enclosed, casino-centric zones.[14] If this new zone is successful it will provide competition for the Fremont Street Experience.

New Las Vegas Arena[edit]

The acquisition of Planet Hollywood provided Harrah's with a contiguous 126-acre (51 ha) property bordering the strip. The vacant lots behind the casinos had been slated for a sports arena large enough to hold a professional basketball or hockey team. The three casinos will have over 8,000 rooms which can be directly connected to the arena.

February 19, 2010, Harrah's Entertainment[15] acquires Planet Hollywood Casino and Resort in Las Vegas.

It was announced in August 2010 that Harrah's will run casinos in Cincinnati, Ohio and Cleveland, Ohio when they open in 2012.

Rename to Caesars Entertainment Corp.[edit]

In November 2010 plans for an IPO were canceled, but a planned name change from Harrah's Entertainment Inc to Caesars Entertainment Corp did go forward as planned and was made official November 23, 2010.

Casino Unit Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy[edit]

The casino operating unit of Caesars Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2015.[16]



  1. ^ "Casino companies ranked worldwide by revenue". statista. 2013. Retrieved 2015-01-17. 
  2. ^ a b Knightly, Arnold (2008-01-29). "MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: Deal closes: Caesars now private". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Caesars Entertainment's operating unit files for bankruptcy". Reuters. 2015-01-15. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 
  5. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Company History". Retrieved 2008-01-29. 
  7. ^ a b "Harrah's Entertainment". Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  8. ^ Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Shreveport
  9. ^ a b "Harrahs Entertainment Inc · 8-K · For 4/21/99 · EX-99.1". Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  10. ^ "Business: Respect Caesars, Harrah's told". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-10. 
  11. ^ "Form 10K 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-06. 
  12. ^ Stutz, Howard (2008-04-10). "Harrah's opts to hail name of Caesars". Las Vegas Review-Journal. 
  13. ^ "Harrah's steps closer to hotel deal". 
  14. ^ "Harrah’s plans new ‘street’ of bars, eateries near Strip". 
  15. ^ Leo. "Harrah's officially takes over Planet Hollywood". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved 2012-07-12. 
  16. ^ Reuters. "Caesars casinos files for bankruptcy". Fortune. Retrieved 2015-01-15. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Shook, Robert L. (2003). Jackpot. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 0-471-26323-0. 

External links[edit]