Caesars Entertainment Corporation (formerly Harrah's Entertainment) likes to spread its bets. The firm owns and/or operates more than 50 casinos (under such names as Harrah's, Horseshoe, and Rio) in 12 US states and seven countries. Altogether its facilities -- including hotels, dockside and riverboat casinos, and Native American gaming establishments -- boast more than 3 million sq. ft. of casino space and some 43,000 hotel rooms. Among its many locations on the Vegas Strip are Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, and Planet Hollywood. The company went public in 2012, more than a year after it cancelled a previous IPO.
Caesars Entertainment raised only around $16.3 million in its 2012 IPO, a small fraction of the $50 million it had hoped to gain. These numbers are significantly more modest than its 2010 plans, when the firm had hoped to raise up to $532 million. In the 2012 offering, Caesars ended up selling only 1.4% of itself in one of the smallest IPOs in recent history. The company is using the proceeds for general corporate purpose and to make a dent in its long-term debt, worth a whopping $19.6 billion.
With its focus on domestic markets, Caesars is losing ground to competitors such as Las Vegas Sands and Wynn Resorts, companies that have been busy developing properties in the fast-growing Asian market of Macau, China. Caesars does own the Caesars Orient Golf in Macau and would love to open a casino there. However, it must make due with the golf club for now, as the Macau government won't expand the number of gaming licenses in the region. Other international holdings include Caesars' London Clubs subsidiary, which owns or manages about a dozen casinos in the UK, Egypt, and South Africa. Caesars also owns one property in Uruguay.
The company's revenues essentially remained flat in 2011 (a less than 1% gain compared to 2010), though its net loss decreased slightly thanks to an income tax benefit. While revenues declined at properties in the Midwest and Atlantic City, Caesars showed gains in Las Vegas, a market that is beginning to recover from a down economy. At its flagship Caesars Palace on the Vegas strip, the company opened the 600-room Octavious Tower in 2011, is remodeling a second hotel tower, and is moving forward on the $550 million Project Linq, a retail, dining, and entertainment development that will open in phases starting in 2013.
On the interactive gaming front, at the end of 2011 the company completed its buyout of Playtika, an Israeli social gaming company with games such as Slotomania, a slot game, and Farkle, a game of dice. It made the deal to boost its Caesars Interactive Entertainment operations, which also includes the World Series of Poker and recently launched Caesars Casino for Facebook. However, in 2012 the company sold part of its Interactive subsidiary to Rock Gaming for $60.8 million.. The deal is an extension of an existing partnership with Rock Gaming -- together the two companies are developing two casinos in Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati).
Caesars Entertainment is majority-owned by Hamlet Holdings, an affiliate of Apollo Advisors and TPG Capital.
The company (then called Harrah's) became the world's #1 gaming firm, jumping over the merged MGM Resorts/Mandalay combination, when it acquired rival Caesars Entertainment Inc. for $9.4 billion in cash, stock, and debt in 2005. Harrah's itself was acquired by Apollo and TPG, who together make up Hamlet Holdings, in a deal worth some $30 billion in 2009. The following year the company changed its name from Harrah's Entertainment to Caesars Entertainment Corporation to capitalize on the Caesar's name, which it sees as "the world's preeminent and most respected casino brand."