Harrah’s Entertainment is reportedly seeking a building permit for a three-story, 72,000-square-foot Strip-front build-out on the southwest corner of Paris Las Vegas. That space, which now has a fountain and an outdoor dining area, would get a retail store, new restaurants and a nightclub.
Tag Archives: Harrah’s
Harrah’s Entertainment is taking over management of hotel operations at the Planet Hollywood casino-resort in Las Vegas as it continues to negotiate with lenders to buy the property.
The privately held casino operator, who likes Planet Hollywood for its location and brand, said today that it would start managing the hotel at midnight this Saturday, Jan. 16.
Regulatory filings show the resort defaulted on an $860 million loan in September.
There is no deal yet for Harrah’s to take ownership of the property, but the gambling giant has applied with Nevada gambling regulators for a license to run it.
Planet Hollywood has 2,500 rooms and manages another 1,200 units, including vacation homes and regular hotel rooms, in a tower that opened earlier this month.
The casino giant has formed a new subsidiary, PHW Las Vegas LLC, with the intent of taking over the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas. PHW filed the application to casino regulators last week, a person at the Control Board said.
The Las Vegas Planet Hollywood is a separate entity from the restaurant chain, which has locations around the world.
Harrah’s began pursuing Planet Hollywood in September when it purchased a $140 million piece of Planet Hollywood’s $870 million debt for an undisclosed amount from Goldman Sachs Group.
A person close to the situation said that it appears the slice of debt Harrah’s purchased could give the casino giant enough influence over the other lenders to control the property.
Harrah’s controls six contiguous Las Vegas casinos just north of Planet Hollywood. Those properties are across the street from City Center, the $8.5 billion MGM Mirage resort has been opening all this week in Las Vegas.
In an email to employees last week, Harrah’s Chief Executive Gary Loveman reportedly said the location made the distressed Planet Hollywood an attractive acquisition.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. currently manages the project’s hotel and also has a minority stake in Planet Hollywood.
Restaurateur Robert Earl, who developed the movie-themed Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, and investment manager Bay Harbour Management acquired the Las Vegas property in 2007.
World Series of Poker (WSOP) Commissioner Jeffrey Pollack has resigned from his post at the WSOP and Harrah’s. Friday, November 13th, was Pollack’s last day on the job.
“It’s bittersweet, but I’m leaving with just great memories and a really nice sense of it being a great run. More than anything else, I’m just appreciative of the opportunity to have been part of the WSOP,” said Pollack, who was instrumental in growing the WSOP since assuming his position in 2005.
The WSOP entered its 40th year this year, with Michigan pro Joe Cada crowned its latest and youngest champion last week.
World Series of Poker spokesman Seth Palansky said there were no immediate intentions to replace Pollack.
Back in May, Pollack teamed with former Party Gaming CEO Mitch Garber to lead Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, the casino giant’s newly-formed online arm. Pollack was slated to be its President and Harrah’s CEO Gary Loveman commented in a press release announcing the launch: “As the world’s largest gaming company, Harrah’s is taking a proactive approach toward international and interactive expansion. It is important we position ourselves to explore new markets as well as new technologies with our best in class brands.”
Pollack said his next career move remains up in the air: “I really wanted to see this year through, see this series through. I’m leaving on an absolute high note.”
Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment and IMG Sports & Entertainment announced a four-year contract extension for global representation of the WSOP property.
According to the agreement, IMG will continue to use its international network to help establish the brand in areas beyond Las Vegas and London.
“We are looking to emphasize the ‘World’ in World Series of Poker as our vision of the brand extends beyond the annual events in Las Vegas and London,” said Mitch Garber, CEO of Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment.
“By tapping the global reach and expertise of IMG, we are confident that together we can take the brand to new levels on the international stage through new international bracelet events and other WSOP licensed poker events.”
IMG has worked with the WSOP since 2005 and helped attract corporate sponsors like Jack Link’s, Hershey’s and Planters.
Hotel, show, meal, and retail deals are everywhere you look in Las Vegas. So, it comes with no surprise that our main attraction – blackjack – is flush with deals. In fact, several Las Vegas Strip casinos have lowered table minimums on their blackjack games in an attempt to lure more customers in during tough economic times.
The haute Wynn Las Vegas offers some $25 double deck blackjack games on weekdays, down from $50 per hand minimum. On the other end of the posh spectrum, the Sahara is offering $1 blackjack. Lower minimums have been reported everywhere, even at Harrah’s and MGM Mirage casino properties.
Players view the moves as a retreat from the high minimums of years past, during the tourism boom. At that time, table minimums at many Strip properties rose sky-high, along with hotel room rates, mixed drink prices and dining bills.
But don’t get snookered into believing that lower blackjack minimums now are necessarily a good player deal.
MGM Mirage adjusts their table game limits based on daily visitor volume.
Another aspect that comes into play are the rules. The more favorable the odds of a particular table game, the higher the minimum bet requirement- a strategy that limits the number of players who can take their shot against the casino. And lower limits almost always mean worse rules for players, says Al Rogers of Pi Yee Pres, which publishes blackjack rule and odds by property in it Current Blackjack News newsletter.
Players may think they’re getting a better deal with a lower-minimum game when actually the opposite is typically true, he warns.
Rather than tempting players by reducing their house edge, Strip casinos, Rogers says, have continues a trend that began before the recession, to lower the odds for blackjack and related games by worsening rules.
For example, many Strip casinos offer games paying 6-to-5 odds for blackjacks, instead of the customary 3-to-2, and those where dealers hit “soft” 17s, meaning they must draws another card on hands containing an ace valued at 11, giving the house a chance to improve a relatively weak hands. Both strategies, though, increase the house edge.
Blackjack wagers on the Strip fell by nearly $1 billion for the 12 months ended April 30, after peaking the previous year, according to the Gaming Control Board. However, the telling fact is that Strip casinos still kept 10.9 percent of those wagers, a fraction of a percentage point less than in the previous record period.
Poker players simply passively sit, blow wispy smoke designs in the air and look at their cards from behind their stealth disguise of dark sunglasses and ball caps all day long, hoping to just cash in on a good payday.
Rather, many members of the one-million strong Poker Players Alliance saw fit to actively make their voices heard on the issue of legalizing Internet gambling by flooding the Obama Web site, suggesting online gambling should be made legal.
Their efforts paid off. Poker playing made the top 10 list of subjects sent to the White House when President Barack Obama – a self-proclaimed poker player -asked Americans to send him their policy priorities. Poker playing also ranked as the No. 1 issue in the technology category.
The citizen requested priorities were unveiled last week in a Citizens Briefing Book, made public just days after legislation was introduced in Congress to repeal the 2006 ban on Internet gambling.
In all, more than 125,000 users suggested 44,000 ideas to help the administration properly prioritize their agenda. They cast 1.4 million votes for their favorite ideas, with each supportive vote earning 10 points.
Legalizing poker was suggested by an online player from Washington, D.C., under the heading: “Boost America’s Economy with Legal Online Poker.” It earned 46,890 points.
Poker players beat out a suggestion for increasing automotive fuel efficiency standards (46,120 points), but didn’t outscore “the permanent closure of all torture facilities” (61,250 points).
An American Gaming Association study released Monday shows that 2 percent of adult respondents gamble online. The Poker Players group estimates between 10 million and 15 million Americans regularly gamble on the Internet. They also estimate $3 billion annually could be generated from legitimizing the online gambling business.
This month, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., introduced legislation that would essentially repeal the Internet gaming ban by instituting a framework for licensing and regulating online games.
Religious groups have vowed to maintain the online gambling ban, saying Internet gaming is a threat to home life and family finances.
This year Harrah’s Entertainment became the first major gaming bricks-and-mortar operations to back the online legislation. Nevada Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley signed on as a co-sponsor.
Franks spokesman Steve Adamske said support for the bill depend on the extent to which backers contact their lawmakers, adding that actions like the briefing book onslaught are “hugely helpful.”
In some ways Obama’s briefing book reads like a to-do list he has already started – closing Guantanamo Bay detention facility, developing clean energy sources, supporting investment in high-speed rail.
In others it is purely the voice of the people.
The top 10 issues also include: “Revoke the George W. Bush tax cuts on the top 1 percent,” “Commit to becoming the ‘greenest’ country in the world,” “No more wars on abstract concepts” and “ending marijuana prohibition.”