The former CEO of Party Gaming is on board with the WSOP to be sure … as CEO of the newly formed Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment. Jeffrey Pollack stays on board as WSOP Commish and President of the new parent company. All of this effective today, supposedly.
The official word:
HARRAHâ€™S ENTERTAINMENT FORMS HARRAHâ€™S INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT
NEW SUBSIDIARY TO MANAGE THE GLOBAL GROWTH OF THE WORLD SERIES OF POKERÂ® (WSOP)
AND EXPLORE EUROPEAN INTERACTIVE EXPANSION STRATEGY
LAS VEGAS, May 29, 2009 â€“ Harrahâ€™s Entertainment, Inc. (Harrahâ€™s) announced today that it has established a new subsidiary, Harrahâ€™s Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (HIE) to manage the global growth of the World Series of PokerÂ® (WSOP) and explore a European interactive strategy.
â€œAs the worldâ€™s largest gaming company, Harrahâ€™s is taking a proactive approach toward international and interactive expansion,â€ said Harrahâ€™s Entertainment Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman. â€œIt is important we position ourselves to explore new markets as well as new technologies with our best in class brands.â€
Mitch Garber, a longtime gaming lawyer and public company senior executive, joins HIE as CEO. Jeffrey Pollack, Commissioner of the WSOP, remains in that role and will become President of HIE.
In addition to growing the World Series of Poker, HIE will explore the use of interactive gaming technologies to expand the reach of Harrah’s brands globally, starting in Europe. With its renowned Total Rewards customer-loyalty program, HIE will be utilized to develop new opportunities to strengthen and grow Harrah’s customer base.
The World Series of Poker, in its 40th year, has experienced record growth in the last five years. Participants from 124 nations competed in last yearâ€™s tournament, up from 24 just five years ago and entrants have gone from 13,036 to 58,720 during the same span. The WSOP expanded into Europe in 2007 with the creation of the World Series of Poker EuropeÂ® held each fall in London.
Yikes, is it really May 29 already?