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  1. The financial woes of Caesars Entertainment are continuing for the beleaguered company, which recently defaulted on a massive bond payment. This month, Caesars Entertainment was facing a bond interest payment of $225 million on debts that it has incurred. In deciding not to pay that debt, which was due on December 15, Caesars Entertainment is now in default to its creditors on a total bill of $18.4 billion. While this puts the owners of the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, the home of the World Series of Poker, in a difficult spot, the company may be able to come out of the deal without any harm. According to Reuters, Caesars Entertainment is in negotiations with its lienholders for a restructuring of the debt. This restructuring, which would probably take the form of some sort of bond sale, would have to be done quickly before those who hold the current bonds demand total payment from Caesars. As of September 30, Caesars Entertainment reported to investors that it held approximately $1.5 billion in cash and equivalent property. As November rolled around, the company stated it would need to restructure its current debt, otherwise it would run out of liquidity by the fourth quarter of 2015 and would be facing the potential for either sale or bankruptcy. In an interview with Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Caesars Entertainment CEO Gary Loveman (pictured) stated that the conditions his company faces "are better and not worse than they have been before." Loveman went on to say in that interview with Stutz, "We don't have any significant debt maturities until 2018. We're much better structured. There is nothing that would trigger a liquidity crisis. We don't have anything like that." This hasn't calmed the fears of some of Caesars Entertainment's investors and financial industry analysts, however. In October, Wells Fargo Securities told investors that it was "uncomfortable with Caesars' leverage and interest coverage profile." Furthermore, Moody's Investor Service called the current levels of Caesars Entertainment's debts "unsustainable." Loveman remains adamant that Caesars Entertainment will not enter any type of bankruptcy proceedings. When challenged with the mounting discontent from analysts, Loveman stated to Stutz, "These same people have been predicting the bankruptcy of the company since 2009. So far, they have been unsuccessful in having that prediction made accurate." The problems with Caesars Entertainment date back to the mid-2000s. After purchasing the WSOP in 2005 when Binion's Horseshoe was closed by federal authorities, Caesars Entertainment continued on a massive acquisition and expansion plan. By 2008, it was forced to go private when the private equity groups TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management took over ownership through a $30.7 billion leveraged buyout. In an attempt to lessen some of the debt the company continued to operate under, Caesars Entertainment once again went back on the stock market, this time on the NASDAQ, in 2012. That has resulted in the company reaching its current debt levels. Even with the outstanding debt, Caesars Entertainment has been active in the United States. In 2013, it bought Planet Hollywood Resort and opened up the Octavius Tower on the Caesars grounds. It has also expanded into Ohio, where Caesars Entertainment built two casinos, and opened up the doors of Horseshoe Baltimore in August of this year. Some of these properties have been placed into a corporate structure that would allow for a quick liquidation if it were needed. Using the Planet Hollywood and Baltimore properties as well as Caesars Interactive, Caesars Entertainment created Caesars Acquisition; this offshoot allows Caesars Entertainment to attract investors for future projects with the backing of those properties. While there has been rumors every year that Caesars Entertainment will have to file bankruptcy – and sell the World Series of Poker and potentially its online gaming division – none of those rumors have come to fruition. "We feel very confident in the company's future," Loveman stated to Stutz, "and we are managing it accordingly." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  2. Late last week, Caesars Entertainment reversed its long-held stance that PokerStars should not be permitted access to the United States online poker market, a change that has been lauded by the industry. This week, the company took the next step, telling Chris Krafcik of Gambling Compliance that it was time to not only support PokerStars, but also to team up with the internet poker behemoth. Executive Vice President of Governmental Relations at Caesars Jan Jones Blackhurst told Krafcik that Caesars must "focus on where our opposition really lies, and clearly it's not Amaya and PokerStars. They are a strong ally in the space." This could eventually be seen as the turning point in the simultaneous fight for online poker in the United States and against Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson. Caesars does not have the money to battle Adelson alone and Adelson has already successfully neutralized the AGA on the online gambling issue," Haley Hintze of FlushDraw wrote. "Caesars is well positioned, politically if not financially, to battle Adelson, but to make a long story short, the company needs friends. Preferably friends with non-empty pockets… PokerStars and Amaya represent just the type of friends Caesars could use if the old enmity can be smoothed over." Chris Grove at Online Poker Report believes that on the state level, this new alliance could have the biggest impact in Pennsylvania, where Sands Bethlehem, owned by Adelson's (pictured) Las Vegas Sands, is one of the major gambling venues in the Commonwealth. A 2014 Pennsylvania online gambling bill did include a bad actor clause, but now that Caesars is not in favor of such clauses, it is possible things could change for legislation in the future. Caesars operates one casino in Pennsylvania, Harrah's Philadelphia. OPR also published a statement provided by Amaya Corporate Spokesperson Eric Hollreiserabout the recent turnaround from Caesars. It read in part, "We look forward to collaboratingwith all those who want to see a US online gaming market that protects consumers, generates tax revenue, and creates a responsible, vibrant, and competitive marketplace." There are certainly no guarantees that the Caesars/Amaya drum circle will accomplish anything, but worst case scenario is that it accomplishes no more than we have already seen. There is really nothing but upside here, as two of the most significant gaming powers in the world team up against the forces of darkness. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  3. On Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment Corporation announced that Gary Loveman (pictured) will be stepping down as Chief Executive Officer of the casino giant. Loveman will continue in his role as Chairman of Caesars Entertainment and Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., with Mark Frissora taking over the role of CEO. The announcement comes only a few weeks after Caesars Entertainment Operation Co. filed for bankruptcy in an effort to restructure the company's massive $24 billion debt. "After 12 years as CEO, Caesars has accomplished more than what we could have imagined when I arrived in 1998," said Loveman. "Now, with the company in the midst of a formal restructuring of one of its subsidiaries and a merger between entities, the time is ripe for a transition. It has been an honor to be the Chairman and CEO of Caesars Entertainment." Loveman, an MIT graduate and Harvard University Economics professor, joined Harrah's Entertainment in 1998, serving as the company's Chief Operations Officer before being promoted to the role of CEO. Under Loveman's leadership, Harrah's would go on to purchase Horseshoe Gaming, the World Series of Poker, and Caesars Entertainment. In 2010, Harrah's entertainment decided to change its name to the more recognizable Caesars branding. In his 17 years at the company, Loveman implemented several successful initiatives, one of which was the Total Rewards loyalty program. The first of its kind in the casino industry, the program now boasts over 45 million members and provides a model for "loyalty programs across consumer industries." With poker booming in 2005, Loveman moved the WSOPto its current home at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino. At its peak, the prestigious series saw entries to the WSOP explode, peaking in 2006 with 8,773 players in the Main Event. After Absolute Poker, Full Tilt, and PokerStars vacated the US market on Black Friday, attendance began to slide. Last year's Main Event was the first in six years to show an increase in participation. Loveman also oversaw the company's foray into regulated online gambling in the US, where it has launched internet poker rooms in New Jersey and Nevada. "He transformed Caesars from a regional gaming company to a leading international gaming, entertainment, and hospitality company with the most geographically diverse network of properties and a significant presence in Las Vegas," the company said in a statement. The company's financial woes began soon after Caesars was acquired by private equity firms Apollo Global Management and Texas Pacific Group in 2008. The purchase left Caesars saddled with $20 billion in debt, while at the same time the gambling market began to contract in Atlantic City. The company's failure to tap into the booming Macau market at the time further contributed to Caesars' financial problems. "Gary's leadership, intellect, vision, and passion for the company, its employees, and guests built the company we acquired in 2008 and have helped him lead the company through a dynamic period for the gaming industry," said Apollo founders Marc Rowan and David Bonderman. Caesars has tapped former Hertz CEO Frissora, an executive who expanded the company's airport rental car business into a global organization, for the role of Caesars CEO. Frissora previously headed automotive part manufacturer Tenneco, during which time the company's stock price tripled. Some, however, are wary of Frissora due to an episode at Hertz where accounting errors were found in the books. Activist investor Fir Tree Partners later called for his replacement. Even so, Caesars executives feel they have the right man for the job. Frissora will join the company's Board and take over the CEO position on July 1. "Mark has a long history of driving growth, optimizing operations, and creating shareholder value," said Bonderman. "We are confident that his efforts combined with the restructuring of CEOC will help create long-term shareholder value at Caesars." Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  4. You might recall that Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson (pictured) has pledged to spend "whatever it takes" to rid the United States of online gambling. In fact, he has corralled two lawmakers – Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) – into introducing bills to do exactly that. How much money have Adelson and his Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling spent in 2014? --- PocketFives' news coverage is brought to you by Betsafe, one of the leading suppliers of online gaming products worldwide and a major sponsor of Gumball 3000. Sign up now for great bonuses, €3,000,000 guaranteed monthly, and plenty of live events! --- According to a recent article from OpenSecrets, Las Vegas Sands has been busy on Capitol Hill lobbying lawmakers to its side: "The company paid out $290,000 during the second quarter lobbying solely on the issue of online gambling or the two bills that would ban it. That brings its yearly lobbying total to $460,000, spending in six months just $10,000 shy of what it spent in all of 2008, the year of its biggest-ever K Street splurge." Whereas Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and Palazzo in Las Vegas and Sands Bethlehem in Pennsylvania, has not launched any regulated online gambling sites, Caesars Entertainment is among the companies that has. Caesars, whose Interactive division runs WSOP.com, among other outlets, has also been busy trying to sway Congressmen, according to OpenSecrets. The site revealed that Caesars "spent $980,000 to advocate on various issues including online gaming in the second quarter, bringing its total so far this year to almost $1.8 million. That's close to the $1.9 million tab Caesars ran for 2013 in its entirety." The stakes could continue to rise as states like California and Pennsylvania grow closer to legalizing internet gambling. And plenty of other companies have dipped their toes into the lobbying pool as well, according to OpenSecrets: "Churchill Downs, Inc… spent $95,000 lobbying in the second quarter, mainly to oppose the ban. Meanwhile, Boyd Gaming, another online gaming pioneer, spent $230,000, mostly on the same issue. MGM Resorts reported spending $240,000 so far this year on several issues, including online gaming, which it supports." By comparison, in 2009, an Associated Press article revealed that the Poker Players Alliance, one of the main lobbying voices for poker players on Capitol Hill in the US, was planning to spend $3 million lobbying in 2009 and 2010. In the fourth quarter of 2008, it spent $300,000. And according to CardPlayer, "In 2006, the PPA spent $540,000, and in 2005, the first year it existed, $260,000." Little movement is expected on the legislative front on Capitol Hill for the remainder of the year given the upcoming elections in November, when one-third of the Senate and the entire House of Representatives will be up for grabs. We'll keep you posted on the latest poker legislation news right here on PocketFives. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  5. The NFL has a new official sponsor and it's WSOP.com, as confirmed to PocketFives by Seth Palansky, WSOP Vice President of Corporate Communications. As an official sponsor, WSOP.com is now offering promotions in conjunction with the NFL, including one that will send a player to the Super Bowl in Miami. The partnership stems from the January 2019 announcement that the NFL had selected Caesars Entertainment Corporation, parent company of the WSOP and WSOP.com, as the first-ever Official Casino Sponsor of the NFL. "If you have been sitting on the sidelines, now may be the time to give WSOP.com a try in Nevada or New Jersey," Palansky told PocketFives. "This Super Bowl promotion is exclusive to WSOP.com and there are a lot of different ways to enter, whether you are a new customer to WSOP.com or a regular player. We believe that besides winning a WSOP gold bracelet, this opportunity to win your way to the Super Bowl via WSOP.com is the next best prize up for grabs." [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker NJ"][ptable zone="GG Poker"] Dubbed the 'Sit 'N' Go to the Super Bowl' promotion, players on WSOP.com in Nevada and New Jersey have the opportunity to win a trip for two to Miami for Super Bowl LIV. The grand prize package will be awarded via a raffle drawing, and it’s pretty simple to enter. Players who complete any of the following actions will receive entries for the drawing: Register for a WSOP.com account with the promotional code 'HOTDOG' Make a first-time deposit using code 'MIAMI' Win a SNG tournament with a buy-in of $1 of greater, Blast SNGs included Play in a $100,000 guaranteed Sunday tournament The promotional period runs November 18, 2019, through January 19. Players may receive multiple entries based on those actions. A free entry can also be achieved by sending an email to onlinepromotions@caesars.com that includes your full name, username, and player ID. The email must be sent during the promotional period. The grand prize is valued at $10,000. It includes two tickets to Super Bowl LIV, plus a $3,000 travel stipend. The $3,000 travel stipend will be deposited in the winner’s WSOP.com account. Super Bowl LIV is scheduled for Sunday, February 2, 2020, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL. "As someone who has worked 10 Super Bowls previously, it is the most incredible sporting event offered on American soil annually," Palansky said. "From the pregame entertainment and military flyover, to the halftime show (this year featuring Jennifer Lopez and Shakira), and of course the actual football game itself, it truly is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and one that is plenty of fun whether you are a football fan or not. There is so much going on in the Super Bowl host city the week of the event that the WSOP.com winner can truly make this a bigger trip and take advantage of the city of Miami and the many NFL-themed offerings taking place, like NFL Experience, Taste of the NFL, concerts, etc. Miami is a great Super Bowl host city, having hosted it several times before." The grand prize trip to Super Bowl LIV isn’t the only thing on offer, too. Winners will be drawn to earn one of several NFL Shop gift cards up for grabs. There is one $500 NFL Shop gift card, five $150 NFL Shop gift cards, and 15 $50 NFL Shop gift cards on offer. The drawing is scheduled for January 21, 2020. "[The promotion] is a key differentiator for WSOP.com, allowing us and therefore our players an incredible prize package," Palansky said. "We believe this promotion is a great fit for our player demo. WSOP.com is leveraging our parent company Caesars' agreement with the NFL, which is all about giving our guests unique and fun experiences tied to their affinity for the NFL." Also being offered as part of the WSOP.com and NFL partnership is a 100% deposit bonus up to $1,000, and there could be more coming in the future. When asked if there could be promotions between the WSOP and NFL surrounding the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Palansky said that it's "not out of the question for the WSOP to tie in more in the future." The NFL promotions in conjunction with WSOP.com already running qualifiers for the 2020 WSOP Main Event provide a lot to offer for online poker players in Nevada and New Jersey.
  6. After repeatedly denying rumors regarding its financial straits, several media outlets are reporting that Caesars Entertainment will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by the middle of January. According to iGaming Business, the proposed bankruptcy proceedings will reduce the debt of Caesars Entertainment to only $8.6 billion versus the $18.4 billion it currently owes. One of the most vocal opponents of bankruptcy, Chairman Gary Loveman, stated to iGaming Business, "The planned restructuring of Caesars will allow us to establish a strong and sustainable capital structure… and maximize value for our stakeholders. I want to thank this creditor group for its support of the restructuring." The bankruptcy proceedings will allow Caesars to reduce its annual interest by about 75%, down to $450 million per year versus the $1.7 billion it is currently paying. All is not gloom in the headquarters of Caesars, however. Only the main operating unit of Caesars Entertainment –Caesars Entertainment Operating Company– will be impacted by the bankruptcy proceedings. According to Reuters, other units such as Caesars Entertainment, the resort properties, and Caesars Growth Partners will not be under the bankruptcy umbrella. This leads many to believe that certain aspects that affect poker players – WSOP.com and the World Series of Poker – will not be a part of the proceedings either. Caesars Entertainment owns over 50 hotels and casinos across the United States, including the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino, Harrah's, and Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas; Bally's, Harrah's, and Caesars in Atlantic City; and new properties such as Horseshoe Baltimore in Maryland and two new casinos in the Ohio area. After the bankruptcy proceedings are closed, Caesars will split into two entities, according to Reuters. There will be an operations entity and a publicly traded real estate investment trust that will open a new property company. The proposed deal has been signed off on by all parties and should take effect next month. The impetus of these new proceedings was spurred by events from last week. As reported here at PocketFives, Caesars Entertainment defaulted on a $225 million bond interest payment last week, putting the company in default on its massive debt. Spokesmen stated at that time that there were discussions to restructure the debt of the company through a bond sale or other means. Loveman vehemently shot down any rumors of an impending Caesars bankruptcy at that time. In an interview with Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Loveman said that the conditions Caesars was facing "are better and not worse than they have been before." In response to several analysts who made statements such as Caesars debt being "unsustainable" and being "uncomfortable" with Caesars' leverage, Loveman fired out, "These same people have been predicting the bankruptcy of the company since 2009. So far, they have been unsuccessful in having that prediction made accurate." The stock of Caesars Entertainment has been suffering of late despite the bullish market currently in action in New York. After trading as high as $26.47 per share on March 4, the stock has slid as the year has progressed. At the close of business on Tuesday, Caesars Entertainment was trading at $15.24 per share. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.
  7. According to Reuters, Caesars Entertainment has agreed to pay $20 million "to settle US charges over anti-money laundering lapses and will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department." --- Tournament Poker Edgeis the only poker training site dedicated exclusively to MTTs and features over 1,000 training videos, blogs, articles, podcasts and a dedicated strategy forum for members. Check Tournament Poker Edge out on Twitter. --- The fine has not been formally announced, but Reuters expected it to become public in the coming days. Caesars has been under investigation by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and, according to the news agency, "Among other lapses, the company's flagship property, Caesars Palace casino in Las Vegas, failed to properly police its sports book activity for wagers placed by illegal betting rings." Earlier this year, it was reported that the fine could range between $12 million and $20 million, so Caesars is reportedly at the very top of that estimate. According to PokerNews, "Over the past few years, Caesars has repeatedly [been]on FinCEN's radar, who've accused them of implementing weak anti-money laundering controls and failing to comply with US anti-money laundering law, the Bank Secrecy Act, that stems from an investigation that began back in 2013." Reuters added that although banks have historically been the targets of anti-money laundering efforts, casinos have come under increased scrutiny in recent years. As Reuters recapped, "In August 2013, Las Vegas Sands Corp. agreed to pay $47 million to settle with the Justice Department over anti-money laundering failures. Earlier this year, the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey also agreed to pay FinCEN $10 million over anti-money laundering lapses." Caesars' Rio in Las Vegas is home to the annual World Series of Poker. The parent company is saddled with debt, but according to company officials earlier this year, the anti-money laundering settlement will not impact its financial results. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  8. After its humble beginnings in Reno more than 75 years ago, Caesars Entertainment has grown to become a behemoth in the casino gaming world, operating resort destinations like Harrah's and Horseshoe across four continents. The company also owns the World Series of Poker brand, known for organizing the most prestigious tournament series in the world. The 2015 WSOP attracted huge crowds of poker players, all of whom converged on Las Vegas' Rio for their shot at winning a coveted gold bracelet. The inaugural $565 buy-in Colossus drew a record-breaking 22,374 runners, earning itself the distinction of biggest live poker field in history. The Main Event saw 6,420 players pay the $10,000 entry fee. For the tens of thousands of players interested in competing in the WSOP, Caesars is tasked with finding professional dealers to handle the massive surge in visitors. With the pool of local dealers tapped out, Caesars has decided to look beyond the US and extend the job opportunity to dealers across the globe. In an ad posted to the Caesars website, the company laid out the job summary, which includes dealing poker games to customers while providing a "courteous and entertaining" experience. They will provide players with instructions on how to play games while initiating "courteous and friendly conversation with guests." They must also maintain security of the game through "continuous inspection of cards." Dealers will, of course, need to understand how to deal several poker variants, including all "flop, draw, and seven card tournament games in limit, no-limit, and pot-limit formats." Furthermore, they will need to learn the intricacies of the WSOP's house rules. On a website erected for dealers participating in the 2015 series, Caesars included several documents laying out the extensive information dealers must digest. The 2015 Dealer Reference Guide alone runs 64 pages long and was one of four documents listed on the site. Failure to understand the house rules could have severely negative consequences. Case in point, during the European Poker Tour Barcelona stop, several high-stakes US pros complained that the rules were not enforced uniformly by dealers. In one contentious hand, an American player thought he had won a huge pot against a local, but was shocked to see it pushed to his opponent. The event showed the absolute necessity that players understand the rules of the house before getting involved. The job will be seasonal to the WSOP summer series and will require candidates to obtain an H2B visa to be eligible for work. H2B visas allow non-US professionals to come to the US and work for up to one year. Before being allowed to access the international market, employers must prove that there are no US candidates available who can complete the job, a requirement Caesars should satisfy. Caesars states that to qualify, applicants will need to be at least 21 years old, be able to communicate in fluent English, have an outgoing personality, and possess good mathematical skills, among other things. Candidates will need to complete a questionnaire, obtain a Nevada gaming license, and successfully pass a WSOP dealer audition, "which consists of an examination of their game knowledge, mechanical and English language comprehension skills." Applicants from 83 countries are eligible to take the job including Costa Rica, Argentina, Brazil, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Spain, and South Korea. Those interested in applying need to fill out a Caesars H2B Visa Sponsorship program application by January 8, 2016 along with another questionnaire. Applicants are encouraged to include a resume with the above information. Dealer auditions will be held in February 2016 and are by invitation only. For more details, check out the Caesars application page. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook.
  9. On Monday, Caesars Entertainment Corp CEO Tony Rodio announced the sale of the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino to New York real estate company Imperial Companies in a deal for $516.3 million. According to Caesars, the deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2020. However, Caesars will retain a lease and maintain and operate the Rio for the next two years paying rent of $45 million per year. In the third year, Imperial Companies can pay Caesars $7 million and have the option to extend the arrangement for an additional year. Although they have purchased the building, the New York real estate firm has not bought the World Series of Poker, which will remain under control of Caesars Entertainment and return to the Rio for the 51st Annual series in 2020. [ptable zone="Global Poker Article Ad"][ptable zone="888poker"][ptable zone="PokerStars NJ"] “The World Series of Poker will be hosted at the Rio in 2020 and Caesars will retain the rights to this event,” an internal company-wide Caesars memo states.”The site of future WSOP events will be announced at a later date.” “The retention of the World Series of Poker and retention of Caesars Rewards customers are all factors that make this a valuable transaction for Caesars,” Rodio said in the press release. With operations expected to remain intact for at least the next two years, it seems likely that the WSOP could have the Rio as its home as far out as 2022. “Many of you are probably aware that discussion and negotiations regarding the sale of the Rio have been underway for a long time. I want to emphasize that this action is not related to the recent merger agreement with Eldorado." In June of this year, Caesars and Eldorado announced a merger that has Eldorado acquiring Caesars Entertainment to create the largest owner of U.S. based gaming assets. “We see this sale as enabling us to focus our resources on strengthening our attractive Strip portfolio.” The sale of the property is not expected to “result in any changes to the guest experience.”
  10. On Thursday, a division of Caesars Entertainment filed for bankruptcy. According to the LA Times, "The division, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co., owns and operates most of Caesars' 50 properties worldwide." Caesars officials said the casinos would remain open and few changes were expected while the company sorts out a reported $18.4 billion in debt. CEO Gary Loveman was quoted in the Times as saying, "I am very confident in the future prospects of our enterprise, which will combine an improved capital structure with a network of profitable properties." Caesars owns and operates the World Series of Poker and its host casino, the Rio in Las Vegas. The WSOP is not affected by the bankruptcy filing, as it is part of Caesars Growth Partners. Also unaffected is the brand's online poker arm, WSOP.com, which operates regulated, real money games in New Jersey and Nevada. According to the Times, Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. has more than 30,000 employees and its hotels include Caesars Palace in Las Vegas and Bally's and Caesars in Atlantic City. There are a variety of possible outcomes, as the Times noted, "Caesars has been negotiating with creditors and lenders for months on a reorganization plan that would turn the division into a real estate investment trust, one to own properties and the other to lease properties, promising creditors cash or new debt." Motley Fool described how Caesars managed to get saddled with so much debt: "The start of the problems for Caesars came when TPG Capital and Apollo Global Management initiated a $30 billion buyout of the formerly named Harrah's Entertainment in 2008. The private equity firms loaded the company with debtand when the financial crisis and recession hit, they were left scrambling just to stay afloat." Smaller markets like Indiana and Iowa, according to Motley Fool, continue to suffocate the company. Here's a list of Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. owned properties, according to Motley Fool: Bally's Atlantic City, Caesars Atlantic City, Caesars Palace Las Vegas, Harrah's Gulf Coast, Harrah's Council Bluffs, Harrah's Joliet, Harrah's Lake Tahoe, Harrah's Metropolis, Harrah's North Kansas City, Harrah's Philadelphia, Harrah's Reno, Harvey's Lake Tahoe, Horseshoe Bossier City, Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Horseshoe Hammond, Horseshoe Southern Indiana, Horseshoe Tunica, Hot Spot Oasis, Louisiana Downs, and Tunica Roadhouse. According to Motley Fool, "The only desirable asset still under CEOC is Caesars Palace Las Vegas." Caesars has a separate division called Caesars Growth Partners, which was formed in 2013, is unaffected by the bankruptcy, and includes Bally's Las Vegas, The Cromwell, Harrah's New Orleans, Horseshoe Baltimore, Planet Hollywood, and the Linq. Caesars Entertainment Resort Properties like Flamingo Las Vegas, Harrah's Atlantic City, Harrah's Las Vegas, Harrah's Laughlin, Paris Las Vegas, and the Rio are unaffected as well. As you can see, Caesars reshuffled assets into several divisions, the seemingly most undesirable of which filed for bankruptcy. As Motley Fool put it, "Debtholders are arguing that assets moved into Caesars Growth Partners and Caesars Entertainment Resort Properties, the 'good companies,' are part of what they should be able to recover." We'll keep you posted on the latest. Want the latest poker headlines and interviews? Follow PocketFives on Twitterand Like PocketFives on Facebook. You can also subscribe to our RSS feed.

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