Who Owns Vegas


Next: I

Who Owns Vegas
Photo © Andrew Hudson
Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas
Last updated:
First published: October 2005

Harrahs Entertainment, Inc.

Hotels: 8; Rooms: 20,624

Owned (since 1/28/08) by Hamlet Holdings, under Harrah's License Company, LLC.
Led by Philip Satre and Gary Loveman.
harrahs.com | Hoovers profile | Wikipedia profile

4/23/10: The Rio may be sold by Harrah's, possibly to Starwood Capital or Colony Capital for around $500 million.

2/19/10: Planet Hollywood (2,500 rooms) is acquired by Harrah's.

1/12/10: Caesars' Palace suspends work on the 655-room Octavius Tower.

11/30/09: Harrah's files to buy Planet Hollywood, using a new subsidiary, PHW Las Vegas LLC. If completed, Harrah's would own 126 acres on the east side of the Strip between Flamingo Road and Harmon Avenue.

Harrah's Entertainment is the world's biggest casino operator with more than 50 casinos.

Harrah's History in Las Vegas

1937 Harrah's is founded by William Harrah who opened a bingo parlor in Reno, NV.
1970 Founder William Harrah dies.
1971 Harrah's goes public.
1972 Harrah's Las Vegas opens.
1980 Acquired by Holiday Inn.
1990 Traded on the NYSE with the stock symbol "HET" (until 2008).
1999 Buys the Rio Hotel and Casino, Inc. (The Rio) for $888 million.
2004 Buys the Horseshoe brand name with the acquisition of Horseshoe Gaming Holding Company, owned by Benny Binion's son Jack. Harrah's kept rights to the Horseshoe name and World Series of Poker but sold the casino to MTR Gaming in 2005.
2005 Buys Caesars Entertainment, Inc. (with Bally's, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Paris) for $5.2 billion.
Buys Imperial Palace (2,640 rooms) for $370 million.
2006 Buys what is now Bill's Gamblin' Hall. (Was the Barbary Coast Hotel and Casino, renamed in March 2007.) Bought from Boyd Gaming Corp. in return for 24 acres of Strip. That gives Harrah's a large and complete block of land in the center Strip — the Flamingo, O'Shea's Casino, Imperial Palace, Harrah's and Bill's.
Receives and accepts a private buyout offer.

Buyout completed for $17.7 billion. Now owned by Hamlet Holdings, a joint venture of private equity firms Apollo Management and TPG Capital.

Name change announced (from Harrah's Entertainment Inc. to Caesars Entertainment Corp.) but not completed. Crown LTD announced it had bought a 2.5% stake for $172 million.

Harrahs Hotels in Las Vegas
Hotel Opened Rooms
Bally's 1973 2,814
Bill's Gamblin Hall 1979 198
Caesars Palace 1966 3,349
Expanding to 4,366
Flamingo 1946 3,626
Harrah's 1972 2,677
Imperial Palace 1979 2,640
Paris 1999 2,916
Planet Hollywood 2,567
Rio 1990 2,548
Total: 20,320

Notes: Bill's Gamblin Hall was the Barbary Coast Hotel until March 2007, when it was bought from Boyd Gaming. Bourbon Street was closed Oct 2005. Bally's might be rebranded as Horseshoe. Caesars has proposed a new 1,017-room, 29-story tower to bring the tower room count to 4,388. Imperial Palace may be repurposed.

The Rio (1990) was built by Tony Marnell and his family, operating as Rio Hotel & Casino, Inc. (former NYSE: RHC), and bought by Harrah's in 1999.

Caesars Entertainment had an interesting history. It was the casino arm spin-off of Hilton Hotels. Hilton bought the Flamingo and the International (renamed the Hilton in 1971) in 1970 from Kirk Kerkorian. Kirk Kerkorian used the money to pay off debts from his purchase of Western Airlines and MGM Studios, and to build a hotel which Hilton later bought — the first MGM Grand hotel (now Bally's). Following a fire, Kerkorian sold the MGM Grand to Bally Manufacturing Corp in 1985 who renamed the hotel Bally's. Bally Manufacturing was a slot machine maker named for its first pinball game, Ballyhoo, but more famous for the chain of excercise clubs it acquired. Bally developed the adjacent Paris Las Vegas before selling Bally's and Paris (as Bally Entertainment) to Hilton Hotels Corporation in 1996. Hilton spun off its casino arm in 1998 as Park Place Entertainment Corporation (owning Bally's, the Flamingo, the Hilton, and Paris). Park Place acquired Caesars World, Inc. (owner of Caesars Palace) in 1999 for $3 billion and changed its name in 2004 to Caesars Entertainment, Inc. Caesars sold the Hilton in 2004 to Colony Capital of Los Angeles. Caesars Entertainment (which then owned Bally's, Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, and Paris) was acquired by Harrah's in 2005.

Next: I

Home | Introduction | Top Players | New Projects | News
Hotels | Index | Timeshares | Links | Email

1 | A | B | Blackstone | C | D | E | F | G | H | Harrah's | I | J | K | L
M | MGM | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Copyright © 2005–2011 Andrew Hudson for Photo Tour Books, Inc. Written for A Photo Tour of Las Vegas. You may reproduce this article for personal, educational, non-commercial and non-Internet use, such as in a hobbyist newsletter or school project. No Internet publishing is permitted. For commercial use, please email Andrew Hudson for permission.