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 29, 1937
as Harrah's
Reno, Nevada, U.S.
November 23, 2010
Renamed as Caesars Entertainment
Headquarters Paradise, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Key people
Mark Frissora
(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)
Owner Apollo Global Management
TPG Capital
The Blackstone Group
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 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 February 8, 2012, an initial public offering took place, and the common stock trades on the NASDAQ under the symbol "CZR."[4]

On January 15, 2015, Caesars Entertainment's operating unit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.[5][6]


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

The company's background can be traced to October 29, 1937, when Bill Harrah opened a small bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada, a predecessor to Harrah's Reno.[7][8] In 1955, he expanded to Stateline, Nevada, on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, where he would eventually open Harrah's Lake Tahoe.[9] Harrah's Inc. made its initial public offering in 1971.[10] 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.

Bill Harrah died on June 30, 1978 of complications from aortic aneurysm and cardiac surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

Under Holiday Inn[edit]

In February 1980, Holiday Inns acquired Harrah's, Inc. for $300 million. Liquidation of Harrah's collection of almost 7,000 antique automobiles reportedly returned the full purchase price of the company to Holiday Inn. Holiday Inn at the time had interests in two casinos: the under-construction Holiday Inn Marina Casino in Atlantic City, and a 40 percent stake in the Holiday Casino, adjacent to the Holiday Inn hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.[8]

In July 1987, Bill's Casino Lake Tahoe opened.[8] Harrah's Laughlin opened in August 1988.[8]

The Promus Companies[edit]

The company now known as Caesars Entertainment was formed in 1990 as The Promus Companies. To effect the sale of the Holiday Inn hotel business to Bass PLC, Promus was created as a corporate spin-off, holding Harrah's, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, and Hampton Inn; Bass then acquired Holiday Corp., which retained only the Holiday Inn assets.[11] The next year, the company's headquarters moved from Reno to Memphis, Tennessee[12]

In April 1992, the Holiday Casino was rebranded as Harrah's Las Vegas.[8]

The late 1980s and early 1990s saw a rapid increase in gambling markets with the growth of Indian gaming and legalization of riverboat casinos. In 1993 and 1994, the company opened Harrah's Joliet,[13] Harrah's Vicksburg,[14] Harrah's Tunica,[15] Harrah's Black Hawk,[16] Harrah's Central City,[16] Harrah's Shreveport,[17] Harrah's North Kansas City,[18] and Harrah's Ak-Chin.[19]

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

In 1995, Promus decided to spin off its non-gaming hotel businesses, in part because they had been undervalued by investors due to perception of the company as a risky gaming stock.[20] Promus Hotel Corp. was established, holding Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites, while the parent company, holding 16 casinos, was renamed as Harrah's Entertainment.[21]

Harrah's continued its expansion over the next ten years, opening Harrah's St. Louis-Riverport,[22] Harrah's Cherokee,[23] Harrah's Prairie Band,[24] Harrah's New Orleans,[25] and Harrah's Rincon,[26] and acquiring the Southern Belle Casino,[27] Showboat, Inc.,[28] the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino,[29] Players International,[30] Harveys Casino Resorts,[31] Louisiana Downs,[32] Horseshoe Gaming,[33] and the World Series of Poker.[34]

In 1999, the company moved its headquarters from Memphis to Las Vegas.[35]

Purchase of Caesars Entertainment[edit]

Harrah's made its largest single expansion in 2005, when it acquired Caesars Entertainment, Inc. for $10.4 billion.[36] Negotiations were spurred on by news of a merger agreement between MGM Mirage and Mandalay Resort Group.[37] The two companies sold several properties ahead of the merger to assuage antitrust concerns, including Harrah's East Chicago and Harrah's Tunica.[38] The acquisition increased Harrah's portfolio to 40 casinos, plus four cruise ship casinos.[39] The deal furthered Harrah's goal of gaining a larger presence on the Las Vegas Strip, where Caesars owned four casinos,[40] and improved its ability to market to high rollers.[41]

  • 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.[42]
  • 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.[43]

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.[44] 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.[45] 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[46] 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.

Caesars Acquisition Company merger[edit]

On December 22, 2014, Caesars announced its intention to acquire Caesars Acquisition Company.[47] Under the terms of the transaction, shareholders of Caesars Acquisition Company will receive 0.664 share of Caesars Entertainment common stock for each share of Caesars Acquisition Company held.

Casino unit files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy[edit]

The casino operating unit of Caesars Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 15, 2015.[48]



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Further reading[edit]

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

External links[edit]