Posts Tagged ‘Gary Loveman’

August 14, 2013

Caesars Officially Bails out of China

Sells off lonely Macau golf course for $438 million

Caesars bought 5 percent of an entire Chinese city with hopes of opening a new casino. But don't expect to see a WSOP Macau anytime soon. [Image: Macau.com]

Pulling the flag? Caesars bought 5 percent of an entire Chinese city with hopes of opening a new casino. But don’t expect to see WSOP Macau on TV anytime soon. [Image: Macau.com]

Caesars Entertainment Corp. on Friday ended the company’s nearly six-year flirtation with Macau.

The casino operator sold its 175-acre golf course near the Chinese gaming enclave’s Cotai Strip region for $438 million to an Asian developer.

The deal, which was disclosed within the company’s quarterly report filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is expected to close by the end of the year.

Caesars said it entered into a purchase agreement [last] week with Pearl Dynasty Investments Ltd. The buyer paid Caesars $65.7 million as a deposit for the land. Caesars can retain 10 percent of the purchase price, $43.8 million, if the deal collapses.

The company said it would use the proceeds from the transaction, which it estimates to be $420 million, to pay down debt. Caesars Entertainment has a gaming industry-high of $23.7 billion in long-term debt.

The company did not comment on the deal beyond the SEC filing.

In 2007, Caesars, which does not have a Macau gaming license, paid $578 million for the land, the site of the Macau Golf Course, with the intent to develop a hotel-casino complex.

But the Macau government never awarded additional gaming concessions and has not shown intent to increase the number of licenses beyond the current six concessions and sub-concessions.

Caesars, then known as Harrah’s Entertainment, never submitted an application in the Macau licensing process in 2001 after the Chinese government ended a 40-year monopoly in Macau that was controlled by Hong Kong billionaire Stanley Ho.

MGM Resorts International, Wynn Resorts Ltd. and Las Vegas Sands Corp. all operate resorts developments in Macau.

Caesars Entertainment Chairman Gary Loveman, who turned down a deal to acquire Wynn’s sub-concession in 2006, has said not entering the Macau gaming market was the biggest mistake the company ever made.

Macau gaming revenue was a record $38 billion in 2012, more than six times the revenue produced by Las Vegas casinos. The Macau gaming market is up 16 percent through the first seven months of 2013.

Caesars renamed the development Caesars Golf. Last year, the company took a $101 million write-down on the land when it put up the site for sale.

Shares of Caesars closed at $18.36 on the Nasdaq Global Select, up 75 cents or 4.26 percent. Caesars stock has more than doubled in value this year, and at one point Friday, reached an all-time high of $18.76.

Caesars is in the process of spinning off Planet Hollywood Resort, its interactive gaming business and a planned Baltimore casino into a separate company majority owned by the gambling giant.

In an SEC filing in July, company officials said they would raise $1.18 billion from selling stock for the new public entity.


Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.


July 10, 2013

Retiring AGA Leader Changed the Face of Casino Industry

Fahrenkopf continues farewell tour as new era for gaming emerges

photo: Peter Urban / Stephens Media Washington Bureau

photo: Peter Urban / Stephens Media Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The wall of framed photos with political heavyweights from Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to Barack Obama — reputedly one of the more impressive collections in town accumulated over 30 years — has been taken down.

Two dozen boxes of papers and memorabilia are stacked on tables, on the floor, and atop filing cabinets, awaiting delivery to a warehouse in McLean, Va., where they will join another 35 boxes being transferred from storage in Maryland.

Among the few items not wrapped and packed in Frank Fahrenkopf’s corner office, which is located a block off Pennsylvania Avenue, are the custom desk from London he had crafted 24 years ago, an American flag standing in the corner and a knickknack of herding elephants signifying the job he once held as chairman of the Republican National Committee.

Fahrenkopf, who turns 74 next month, is downshifting after nearly two decades as the face of casino gambling in Washington and one of the most prominent Nevadans in the nation’s capital. The president and CEO of the American Gaming Association until he stepped aside on July 1 is plotting what comes next.

Over the years, he has alternately put out fires and served as a missionary for the commercial casino industry that once was concentrated in Nevada but now is an economic driver in almost half the states.

“It was a perfect storm in a way that when the industry needed to have someone, I happened to be here,” Fahrenkopf said in a recent interview.

But after staying on the job for an extra year in the for-now-dashed hope of helping to guide the industry into federally recognized online poker, he was completing his tenure.

“It just reached a point where 18 years is a long time. It’s always good to have fresh people come in,” Fahrenkopf said of the job he took when it was created in 1995 with the intention of staying just a year.

More…


May 8, 2013

Caesars Restructures Company with “Growth Oriented” Spin-off

WSOP big-boss Garber to oversee new operation

CaesarsLogoCaesars Entertainment Corp. said last week that it will spin off its interactive gaming business, Planet Hollywood and a planned casino in Baltimore into a separate company owned in part by the casino operator, the company’s stockholders and private equity firms Apollo and TPG.

Apollo Management and TPG Capital are expected to invest a combined $500 million in cash into Caesars Entertainment as part of the deal, which would create a “growth-oriented entity” controlled by Caesars Acquisition Co., a company created to facilitate the transaction.

Caesars Interactive CEO Mitch Garber will serve as CEO of the acquisition company and continue in his role with the interactive division, which owns the World Series of Poker.

In a statement, Caesars Entertainment, which has long-term debt of more than $20 billion, said the transaction would allow the company to fund growth opportunities in “a less levered and more flexible vehicle.”

More…


January 23, 2013

Caesars Emperor Advises Federal Gov on Social Security, Medicare

Loveman-led panel of biz leaders suggests sweeping changes

GaryLovemanAn association of influential chief executive officers, which includes Caesars Entertainment Corp. Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman, suggested several changes Wednesday to Social Security and Medicare that would protect both programs.

Loveman, chairman for the Washington, D.C.-based Business Roundtable’s health and retirement committee, outlined the recommendations during a news conference at the organization’s offices. He also outlined the plan in a Wall Street Journal opinion article.

The suggested changes to Social Security include gradually raising the retirement age from 67 to 70, changing benefit formulas to increase progressivity, updating the method for calculating cost of living adjustments and including newly hired state and local workers in the system.

The Business Roundtable’s plan would protect those 55 and older from cuts, but younger workers would face significant changes. The plan unveiled Wednesday would result in smaller annual benefit increases for all Social Security recipients. Initial benefits for wealthy retirees would be smaller.

More…


January 18, 2013

Casino Lobby Elects New Representatives

AGAThe chief executive of Deutsche Bank Securities was elected to serve as a director of the American Gaming Association, the Washington D.C.-based lobbying arm of the casino industry.

Richard Byrne, previously director-elect, was elected for a one-year term as an at-large director.

William Newby, global head of gaming investment banking at Jefferies & Company Inc., was selected by the AGA board as a director-elect for the coming year.

More…


September 1, 2012

Is Online Poker’s Window of Opportunity Closing?

Casinos say Nevada jobs at risk without federal bill to validate intrastate regs

What seemed like a tremendous decision for the gaming industry nine months ago – the re-evaluation of the Federal Wire Act of 1961 – may not be so advantageous for Nevada unless Congress takes steps to enact Internet poker legislation.

A window of opportunity that could place Nevada at the center of the potential U.S. Internet gaming market is closing quickly, and some in the gaming industry worry that lack of federal action could cost the state tax revenues and casino customers, while making Nevada subservient to less-regulated states.

“There are different standards for gaming regulation in one state versus another,” Station Casinos Vice Chairman Lorenzo Fertitta said. “We know some companies will shop for the lowest common denominator. We could start seeing bets being taken away from Nevada.”

The U.S. Department of Justice on Dec. 23 reversed a 50-year-old interpretation of the Wire Act, saying the law covers only sports wagering. Legal experts said the decision frees individual states to let online operators offer poker and traditional casino games such as slot machines and blackjack if the play doesn’t cross state lines.

It’s been estimated that U.S. gamblers spent as much as $26 billion annually gambling online before federal prosecutors indicted the operators of three of the largest Internet poker websites in April 2011. Closing those sites, which had violated federal law by accepting wagers from the U.S., effectively walled Americans off from the online gaming universe.

Now, states dealing with tight budgets are looking at that huge, untapped Internet market and are increasingly open to allowing – and taxing – it. Lawmakers in several states are in various stages of adopting regulations to allow full-scale online gaming.

Several Nevada gaming companies are on the verge of offering in-state online poker, but they foresee trouble ahead if their market is limited only to players in the sparsely populated Silver State.

And not only are they concerned about missing out on poker profits, they fear gamblers who can play online at home won’t bother traveling to Las Vegas’s tourist-dependent resorts.

More…


August 9, 2012

South Point Ready to Beta-Test Online Poker by October

Vegas casino an early adopter or late to the game?

The South Point could be ready to shuffle up and deal on the Internet sometime this fall.

State gaming regulators Wednesday granted Michael Gaughan’s Las Vegas casino tentative approval to operate an online poker website accessible only within Nevada boundaries.

South Point attorney Steve Harris told the Gaming Control Board in Carson City the technology to run the Internet poker website is in advanced stages of approval by an independent testing laboratory hired by gaming regulators.

If all conditions are met, Harris said the South Point’s website could begin accepting wagers over the Internet on a test basis by October. However, the control board placed several stipulations on the interactive gaming license to ensure all state requirements are met before the website goes live.
More…


April 4, 2012

Cleveland Cavs Owner Buys into Caesars Online Gambling

Gilbert puts his money where your mouse is

Prediction: there will be a WSOP-Cleveland this year … or maybe a WSOP-Cincinatti next year … if not both. The Caesars poker empire has made no bones about its expansionist desires … and now the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, through his company Rock Gaming, has bought a $61 million stake in the Empire’s online division, Caesars Interactive Entertainment, parent company to the WSOP, according to filings with the SEC.

Neither Gary Loveman nor Mitch Garber could be reached at Caesars to confirm or deny the rumored buzz Pokerati was hoping to start on this one — that Cleveland is the new Pennsylvania.

Colorful urban blight probably had something to do with Dan Gilbert’s success in bringing casinos (and thereby partnership with Caesars) to Ohio right around the time Harrah’s Interactive was born and Caesars’ online poker/gambling strategy became more official.

Though the grand opening was delayed a few weeks, the Caesars-operated Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland begins taking brick-and-mortar bets May 14.

Posted by at 4:50 am

May 7, 2011

Germany, Caesars, and Loveman

APCW Perspectives Weekly for April 29th, 2011

This week’s online gambling news recaps fallout from “Black Friday”, including interesting remarks from Caesars CEO Gary Loveman. Also, online sports betting has been legalized in Germany… but don’t get too excited.

Posted by at 10:05 am

November 23, 2010

Harrah’s Inc. Is Now Caesars Corp (We Think)

A new era of online poker imperialism upon us?


Oh Yeah? Regardless of what you call them, the WSOP parent company’s old logo was like so 2010.

The Las Vegas Sun reports that the name change is now official, citing chairman and president Gary Loveman as the source. The Sun gives no context, however, as to why this time he really means it, other than to provide a rather generic summary:

“The new name can open new opportunities for the company in the future.”

Hmm, a name leading to new opportunities? Harrah’s has been talking about the name change for more than a year — pretty much ever since they opened up their non-poker online gambling opportunities at CaesarsCasino and CaesarsBingo dots-com — but have never gone through with it, at least in any marketable or taxable way. But sure enough, a form filed with the SEC yesterday confirms that Harrah’s Entertainment Incorporated would now, finally and officially, like to be called Caesars Entertainment Corporation. At least in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

And while the new monicker may lend itself to illustrations of Loveman in a toga eating grapes and future mockery should Harrah’s-cum-Caesars ever wanna deny its imperialistic nature … some of us can’t help but wonder if there isn’t even more to it than that. Why now for such a bold move? Surely it will cost a few million bucks to get everyone new business cards and change the labels on bottled water … so what relation, if any, might it have to seemingly accelerated online gambling pursuits and/or, most recently, a (suddenly) delayed IPO — both specifically addressed in the same document as the name change.

More…

Posted by at 11:34 am

May 22, 2009

Harrah’s Undenies/Reconfirms Mitch Garber Rumors

New WSOP corporate structure takes shape

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:

HARRAH’S ENTERTAINMENT FORMS HARRAH’S INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT
NEW SUBSIDIARY TO MANAGE THE GLOBAL GROWTH OF THE WORLD SERIES OF POKER® (WSOP)
AND EXPLORE EUROPEAN INTERACTIVE EXPANSION STRATEGY

LAS VEGAS, May 29, 2009 – Harrah’s Entertainment, Inc. (Harrah’s) announced today that it has established a new subsidiary, Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, Inc. (HIE) to manage the global growth of the World Series of Poker® (WSOP) and explore a European interactive strategy.

“As the world’s largest gaming company, Harrah’s is taking a proactive approach toward international and interactive expansion,” said Harrah’s Entertainment Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer Gary Loveman. “It is important we position ourselves to explore new markets as well as new technologies with our best in class brands.”

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 year’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 Europe® held each fall in London.

Yikes, is it really May 29 already?

Posted by at 1:03 pm

June 5, 2008

Poker Players Need Place to Bet on Basketball

Boston Celtics vs. LA Lakers … apparently people are pretty excited about this upcoming NBA finals. And while quite a few poker players have been known to place some sports bets, they’re gonna have to leave the Rio to do so this year

Harrah’s Chairman and CEO Gary Loveman owns 2.4 percent of the Celtics, and that may or may not be a conflict of interest. The directive reportedly comes straight from David Stern the NBA, and thus no Harrah’s properties will be taking bets on the NBA finals. Talk about a hit for Harrah’s, the Rio, Caesar’s Palace, Paris, Bally’s, Imperial Palace, Flamingo, Bills, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Harrah’s Reno, Harrah’s Laughlin … perhaps a mini-boon for Bellagio.

The Palms and Silverton also won’t be taking bets on the NBA finals, as their owners also have ownership stakes in other NBA teams. I find this pretty darn interesting … because if the NBA can remove betting on the finals at these casinos, why wouldn’t they want to maintain the same level of “integrity” throughout the regular season?

Posted by at 5:38 am