Doing more than $4.5 billion in revenue annually, it probably will not come as much surprise that Caesars Entertainment Corporation is regarded as one of the top 5 gaming companies in the world. With more than 50 global properties and a brand name that is recognized even by people who have never stepped foot on the floor of a casino, Caesars is huge and continues to grow.
The history of what we now know as Caesars Entertainment Corporation can be traced back to the late 1930s, when Bill Harrah—whose name might ring a bell—opened a bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada.
Though the site would later become the world-famous Harrah’s Reno, it was borne of humble beginnings. By 1955, Harrah decided that he would further expand his gaming operation, this time to the Southern shores of Lake Tahoe. Intent on building a brand, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe was built to join the wildly successful Harrah’s Reno. The Harrah’s corporate entity made its initial public offering in 1971, and just 2 short years later was a feature on the NYSE, the most popular stock exchange in the world. Shortly thereafter, tragedy struck as founder Bill Harrah unexpectedly died in the middle of 1978.
Less than 2 years after the death of the company’s founder, Harrah’s was sold to Holiday Inns for a whopping $300 million. In their first years, the new ownership began taking a special interest in sites in both Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In addition, Bill’s Casino Lake Tahoe was opened in the late 1980s in honor of the late Bill Harrah.
The 1990s and Beyond
In 1990, a company known as The Promus Companies began business as part of an elaborate scheme to sell the Holiday Inns hotel business, but not Harrah’s. Bass PLC is the name of the company that, in essence, purchased Holiday Inns’ assets and proceeded with the hotel business. Promus, on the other hand, retained Harrah’s as well as a few other brands. With this change brought about a change in the corporate structure that saw the company’s headquarters moved from Reno to Memphis, Tennessee. There were a plethora of changes in the 1990s, including the rebranding of Las Vegas-based Holiday Casino to the now well-known Harrah’s Las Vegas.
While all of this was going on, The Promus Companies saw an opportunity when it came to riverboat gambling and gambling that was becoming increasingly prevalent on Native American reservations. Before 1995, there were 8 brand-new Harrah’s properties located throughout the middle of the United States. These properties, as you might expect, were all either riverboat casinos or those that existed on sovereign native lands.
In 1995, yet another change was unleashed upon The Promus Companies corporate structure, as their gaming and hotel holdings were split into two separate companies. The hotel portion became known as Promus Hotel Corp., while the company that laid claim to the now more than 15 Harrah’s properties became known simply as Harrah’s Entertainment. Harrah’s Entertainment continued to expand and from 1995 to 2005 opened 7 different casinos, and acquired others. What’s more, it also acquired the rights to the World Series of Poker; something that proved to be an extremely smart decision.
1997 saw Harrah’s Entertainment launch their rewards program aimed at providing comps to all players regardless of where they were. This was unlike anything else that existed at the time because even if you patronized Harrah’s locations in different cities, you would be rewarded and comped as though your action took place at one single site. The program now known as Total Rewards got the ball rolling and became something that other gaming companies quickly tried to emulate.
The Big Acquisition
2005 was perhaps the biggest year in Harrah’s Entertainment history, as they finalized the acquisition of Caesars Entertainment for more than $10 billion. Being that this acquisition would see two of the largest gaming companies in the world becoming one, both sides were forced to sell off some properties in order to avoid running into any issues on the gubernatorial level. When the dust had finally settled, the company now owned 40 casinos as well as 4 cruise ships. With a solid footing in the United States, Harrah’s then moved to expand internationally, however, these ambitious plans all fell through, time and time again.
As the years wore on, Harrah’s continued to concentrate on Las Vegas first and foremost, as this was their bread and butter and proved to be where most of their success was realized. In 2010, the company fiddled with the idea of another IPO, but that idea came and went without taking shape.
Instead, what did happen in 2010 is that Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. was renamed Caesars Entertainment Corp. The reasoning behind this move was that Harrah’s, though popular did not have the international presence that the Caesars name did. Though Harrah’s remains one of Caesars’ top casino brands, the company itself more or less died when the name was changed. In 2012, earlier dreams were realized as Caesars unveiled an IPO on the NASDAQ.
Since then, Caesars’ journey has been a tumultuous one, to say the least. Very few new properties were opened, and the financial situation facing the company grew increasingly bleak. At the beginning of 2015, Caesars Entertainment filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Things have gotten better since then, and the company is still known the world over for providing a top-level gaming experience. What’s most notable, perhaps, is the fact that you can find a Caesars property almost anywhere in the world, whether it be in North America, Europe, or Africa.
Caesars Entertainment Brands and Properties
When you are speaking of Caesars, the company extends far beyond the hotels and casinos bearing the name. In fact, when it comes down to it, Caesars Entertainment consists of different brands, each with their own unique look and feel. Below, we will list the different Caesars brands as well as the properties that comprise them.
Bally’s Atlantic City
Bally’s Las Vegas
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino
Harrah’s Atlantic City
Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River
Harrah’s Council Bluffs
Harrah’s Gulf Coast
Harrah’s Lake Tahoe
Harrah’s Las Vegas
Harrah’s Louisiana Downs
Harrah’s New Orleans
Harrah’s North Kansas City
Harrah’s Resort Southern California
Caesars Atlantic City
Horseshoe Casino Baltimore
Horseshoe Bossier City
Horseshoe Council Bluffs
Horseshoe Casino Tunica
Horseshoe Southern Indiana
Las Vegas Strip Properties
Other US-Based Casinos and Properties
International Casinos and Properties
Emerald South Africa
Playboy Club London
The Casino at The Empire
The Golden Nugget
The London Club Cairo
The Rendezvous Casino Brighton
The Rendezvous Casino Southend
The United Kingdom
Caesars Entertainment Golf Clubs
In addition to all of these resort casino and hotel properties, Caesars Entertainment also lays claim to golf clubs in the United States and China.
Caesars Golf Macau (Macau, China)
Cascata Golf Course (Las Vegas)
Chariot Run Golf Course (Laconia, Indiana)
Cottonwoods Golf Course (Tunica, Mississippi)
Grand Bear Golf Course (Gulfport, Mississippi)
Rio Secco Golf Club (Henderson, Nevada)
Last, but certainly not least, is the horse track Caesars owns in Florence, Kentucky, known as Turfway Park.