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Harrahs Entertainment, Inc.
Type Private
Founded Reno, Nevada (1937)
Headquarters Las Vegas, Nevada
Key people Gary Loveman,
CEO & Chairman
Charles L. Atwood,
Vice Chairman
Industry Gaming,
Entertainment & Hospitality
Products World Series of Poker
Total Rewards
Revenue $10.8 billion USD (2007)
Owner(s) Hamlet Holdings
Employees 85,000 (2005)
Harrah's Entertainment Inc.'s former headquarters and current corporate offices

Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. is a private gaming corporation that owns and operates casinos, hotels, and six golf courses under several brands. The company, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the largest gaming company in the world, with yearly revenues around $10.8 billion. Harrah’s is owned by Hamlet Holdings[1] (Apollo Management and Texas Pacific Group). While Apollo and TPG own a large majority, Blackstone Group LP owns a minority stake in Harrah's. [2] Recorded on November 1, 1995.



William F. Harrah era (1937–1978)

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.[3][4] 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 in 1978.

Post William F. Harrah era

  • February 1980 – Holiday Inns, Inc. acquires 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 draw to the city of 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, Inc., a casino adjacent to the Holiday Inn hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.[5][4] In November, Harrah's Marina opens.[4]
  • May 1988 – Gary Loveman joins the organization as Chief Operating Officer.
  • January 1990 – Bass PLC acquires the Holiday Inn hotel business and The Promus Companies is created to retain the remaining assets and brands.[4] Promus stock began trading a month later (NYSE:PRI).
  • April 1992 – Harrah's acquires its first Las Vegas property as Holiday Las Vegas is converted to a Harrah's casino.[4]
  • April 1994 – Harrah's Shreveport opens.[4]
  • June 1995 – The company is renamed to Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. following the split off of the Promus hotel brands (Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, and Homewood Suites).[4]
  • March 1997 – Harrah's St. Louis-Riverport opens; May sees the consolidate of two Mississippi properties into the new Tunica Mardi Gras; September: Total Gold is launched; October: Harrah's completes $200 million expansion to Las Vegas; November: Harrah's Cherokee Smoky Mountains opens.[4]
  • January 1998 – Harrah's Prairie Band opens.
Harrah's former logo
  • June 2003 – the Harrah's casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi is sold.
  • June 13, 2005 – Harrah's completed the takeover of Caesars Entertainment. 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 with over 4 million square feet (370,000 m²) of casinos, almost 100,000 employees and over 40 casinos.[4] 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.[7] 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. This acquisition takes 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, and the other is at the Port of Lake Charles awaiting repairs. All of the restaurants and support buildings were destroyed. Harrah's estimates that the rebuilding will take 2 years.
  • 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 & Casino in Las Vegas for $370 million. The Imperial Palace occupies an 18.5-acre 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.
  • 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 (79,000 m2) site behind, but not adjacent to the Imperial Palace with frontage on Koval Road. The cost for the land was $164.4 million. The site is currently occupied by the Desert Club Apartments.
  • 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$580M. The land area is roughly 180 acres.
  • Jan 2008 - Harrah's assumes a $20 billion in debt when private equity firms Apollo 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.[9]
  • 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. [10] 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 Link 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. [11] If this new zone is successful it will provide competition for the Fremont Street Experience.
  • The acquisition of Planet Hollywood will provide Harrah's with a contiguous 126 acre 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 8000 rooms which can be directly connected to the arena.


See also


  1. ^ a b Knightly, Arnold (2008-01-29). "MERGERS AND ACQUISITIONS: Deal closes: Harrah's now private". Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Company History". Retrieved 2008-01-29.  
  5. ^ a b "Harrah's Entertainment". Retrieved 2007-08-13.  
  6. ^ a b "Harrahs Entertainment Inc · 8-K · For 4/21/99 · EX-99.1". Retrieved 2007-08-13.  
  7. ^ "Business: Respect Caesars, Harrah's told". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-10.  
  8. ^ "Form 10K 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 2007-11-06.  
  9. ^ Stutz, Howard (2008-04-10). "Harrah's opts to hail name of Caesars". Las Vegas Review-Journal.  
  10. ^ "Harrah's steps closer to hotel deal".  
  11. ^ "Harrah’s plans new ‘street’ of bars, eateries near Strip".  

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

External links

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