Harrah’s Entertainment Background
was founded in 1937 by William F. Harrah.
In 1973, Harrah’s became the first casino company to list on
the New York Stock Exchange.
Entertainment is owned by Hamlet Holdings and is now the largest gaming company
in the world, with annual revenues of about $7 billion.
Harrah’s has been
in charge of running the World Series
of Poker (WSOP) since acquiring the rights to the series in 2004. In 2009,
the Rio Casino celebrated its fifth anniversary as venue for the World
Series of Poker.
The gaming company
bought the original WSOP venue – Binion’s Horseshoe – in 2004, but resold it,
keeping the rights to the World Series of Poker and the Horseshoe brand.
In 2005, Harrah’s
Entertainment clinched the takeover of Caesars Entertainment before announcing
that all its gaming brands would be grouped under four brands: Harrah’s, Rio,
Caesars and Horseshoe.
On January 28,
2008, Harrah’s Entertainment was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange,
with Hamlet Holdings taking the company private.
Harrah’s Entertainment decided to expand the World
Series of Poker franchise into Europe in 2007, following Harrah’s
purchase of London Clubs International (LCI) for $568 million in December 2006.
LCI operates three casinos in the
London area: Fifty, Leicester Square and The Sportsman.
The World Series
of Poker Europe is the first phase in the international expansion of World Series of Poker tournaments,
with further possible expansion into South Africa and Egypt also being mooted.
Harrah’s Entertainment already owns casinos in both of these countries.
World Series of
With Harrah’s Entertainment at the helm, it seems that the
World Series of Poker is in safe hands.
The number of initiatives and partnerships Harrah’s is
continually pursuing illustrate the gaming company’s commitment to growing the
popularity of the World Series of Poker worldwide.