Caesars Entertainment is one of the largest IR operators in the United States, but what sets it apart from its Las Vegas-based rivals is that it possesses no concession in Macau. Caesars focuses on building customer loyalty through the advantages of its Total Rewards program, for which it claims more than fifty million members globally. It has also been a leader in terms of developing policies to combat gambling addiction. Although Caesars can trace its origins back to a bingo parlor in Reno, Nevada, that opened in 1937, the current company was created in 1990.
Caesars Entertainment aggressively campaigned to enter the Japan IR market, looking at investments in both major urban markets as well as regional opportunities, until its efforts were suspended in August 2019.
Family Name: Hunt
Given Name: James
Profile: James Hunt, a trained accountant, had a background in corporate management but not in the gaming industry when he became the Chairman of Caesars Entertainment in 2017. In particular, he had served as Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Worldwide from 2003 to 2012.
Family Name: Rodio
Given Name: Anthony
Role: Chief Executive Officer
Profile: With decades of experience in gaming industry, Rodio notably served from 2011 to 2018 as president and CEO of Tropicana Entertainment. He then moved on briefly to become the CEO of Affinity Gaming before his April 2019 selection to lead Caesars Entertainment, largely at the insistence of the top shareholder, Carl Icahn.
Family Name: Hession
Given Name: Eric
Role: Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Profile: Hession joined Caesars Entertainment in 2002 after working some years at Merck and Company. Prior to attaining his current position in 2015, he served Caesars in various capacities in both property operations and corporate finance.
Family Name: Massari
Given Name: Michael
Role: Chief Sales Officer
Profile: Massari is a long-time figure at Caesars Entertainment having begun his career at the company in 2000 and gradually worked his way up the ladder. Since May 2017 he has been Chief Sales Officer.
Family Name: Jones Blackhurst
Given Name: Jan
Role: Executive Vice-President for Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility
Profile: Jones Blackhurst served two terms as a popular mayor of Las Vegas before joining Caesars Entertainment in 1999. She focused her efforts on making Caesars a leader in corporate ethics and responsible gaming policies. She also emphasized the need for diverse hiring practices, opening management and staff positions to minorities and women. After serving in the post of Executive Vice-President for Public Policy & Corporate Responsibility, she gave up her executive role and joined the Board of Directors in September 2019.
Family Name: Linss
Given Name: John
Role: Vice-President of Strategic Investment Initiatives
Profile: With a strong background in various kinds of technology companies, including several that he founded himself, Linss joined Caesars Entertainment in 2018 as Vice-President of Strategic Investment Initiatives.
Family Name: Shen
Given Name: William
Role: Senior Vice-President, Managing Director for Korea and Japan
Profile: Since he joined Caesars in 2006, Shen has been involved in international development projects for the company, mainly in Asia. Since 2011, he has been in charge of securing the license and developing Caesars Korea IR, and in 2017 he was also made head of the Japan office.
Family Name: Nishimura
Given Name: Kengo
Role: Head of Government & Community Relations, Japan
Profile: Nishimura began his career as a national bureaucrat working on tourism policy before leaving the government and joining the private sector. After stints at the technology company Accenture and the auditing firm Deloitte, he joined Caesars Entertainment's Japan operation in August 2018 as head of government and community relations.
Family Name: Icahn
Given Name: Carl
Role: Major Stockholder
Profile: Born in New York City and beginning his career as a stockbroker, Icahn became one of the most famous corporate raiders and activist shareholders. Through these activities, he became a billionaire and one of the richest people in the world. Although his interests are wide-ranging, the gaming industry has long been one of the areas in which he has sometimes made major investments.
Family Name: Reeg
Given Name: Tom
Role: Chief Executive Officer of Eldorado Resorts
Profile: With a background in the finance industry, Reeg's affiliation with Eldorado Resorts began in 2007. After a number of executive positions, he became President in 2014 and then shifted to Chief Executive Officer in January 2019. Six months later, an agreement was reached by which Eldorado would purchase Caesars Entertainment, and Reeg was slated to become Chief Executive Officer of the largest IR operator in the United States.
Family Name: Frissora
Given Name: Mark
Role: Former President & CEO
Profile: Frissora's background is as a business executive, though not specifically in the gaming industry until his appointment to the helm of Caesars in 2015. Previously he led Tenneco and then Hertz Global Holdings. He was one of the only IR company CEOs with previous experience forming business partnerships with Japanese companies. Frissora was replaced as President and CEO in April 2019 and left the company.
Family Name: Tight
Given Name: Steven
Role: Former President of International Development
Profile: With a background in real estate and hotel development, Tight joined Caesars Entertainment in June 2011 and led its efforts to expand overseas, including oversight of the Japan campaign. However, he left in September 2019 when Caesars ended its Japan efforts and indicated that it would focus almost exclusively on the domestic development. Tight then became a freelance consultant.
Family Name: Watanabe
Given Name: Yusuke
Role: Former Head of Business Development, Japan
Profile: Most of Watanabe's career before joining Caesars was spent in the banking industry—Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, JP Morgan, and Morgan Stanley. In August 2017 he brought into the Caesar's team to help lead efforts to gain an IR license in the Japanese market. However, after Caesars announced that it was leaving the Japan IR race, Watanabe resigned from the company in September 2019.
The race to gain one of the three available IR licenses is advancing into the decisive stage, with Japanese local governments and international IR operators eagerly lining up for approval. However, the Japanese general public remains broadly on the sidelines, not waiting in anticipation, but rather sullenly watching developments they don’t approve of.
Caesars Entertainment built up one of the strongest ground games among the international operators campaigning for an IR license, but instability at the parent company in Las Vegas undermined the local team’s efforts, and has now caused the company to become the first major IR operator to pull out of the Japanese market.
The strong performance of its Caesars Entertainments’ Las Vegas properties helped to boost its total revenue for the April-June 2019 period. Revenue rose 4.9% year-on-year, reaching US$2.22 billion.
Caesars Forum, a state-of-the-art 550,000 square-foot conference facility under construction in Las Vegas, is on pace to meet its scheduled March 2020 opening date.
Caesars Entertainment has announced that it is partnering with Taito, Japan’s leading arcade game company, to jointly host an eSports tournament in Las Vegas next month.
Tom Reeg, chief executive officer of Eldorado, raised eyebrows among Asia observers by suggesting that the new Caesars Entertainment would be focused on the United States IR market, perhaps exclusively.
Eldorado Resorts has bought Caesars Entertainment in a deal worth, including debt, about US$17.3 billion, in a deal which creates the largest US IR operator.
Caesars Entertainment has announced a partnership with University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) to create a technology hub where new gaming and hospitality concepts will be developed and tested in a 43,000 square-foot space.
It has recently become possible to understand with increased clarity which IR operators will be bidding for Japan’s two major markets—the Kanto and the Kansai—and where each of them are now focusing.
In a crowded field of international IR operators hoping to obtain one of the three licenses available in Japan, Caesars Entertainment hopes that one of its key competitive advantages is its commitment to “the highest levels of integrity.”
US casino operator Caesars Entertainment delivered a solid quarter of revenue and EBITDAR growth in the first quarter of 2019, driven by strong contributions from its Las Vegas gaming business, the acquisition of Centaur, as well as operating and corporate efficiencies.
Caesars Entertainment has named Anthony Rodio as its new CEO to replace outgoing Mark Frissora, according multiple news reports in the United States.
Caesars Entertainment and Eldorado Resorts are in preliminary talks about a merger, Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
Activist investor Carl Icahn again raised his stake in Caesars Entertainment on Monday and is likely to push for a sale of the operator, though Las Vegas Sands is the only one with the funds for a cash-based takeover, Bernstein Research said.
The Nihon Keizai Shinbun held its second IR seminar on March 5, this time in Sapporo, Hokkaido, before an audience of 367 people.
The Japan IR Association (JIRA) held its second event within the Diet Building complex on March 5, this time focusing on MICE and the role they are expected to play within Japan’s IR industry.
Caesars Entertainment agreed last week to allow investor Carl Icahn to appoint three directors to its company board, indicating that a substantial change of policy direction is in the offing as Mark Frissora steps down at the end of April.
The release of unexpectedly positive financial results on February 21 did nothing to calm speculation around the future of Caesars Entertainment, as the company’s single-largest shareholder, Canyon Partners, joined investor Carl Icahn and others in calling for the company to be sold.
The future direction of Caesars Entertainment became even less clear after it was reported by the Wall Street Journal that Carl Icahn, who holds a roughly 10% stake in the company, is urging Caesars to sell itself, showing his lack of confidence in the current leadership.
The inaugural Hokkaido IR Showcase came to a close last Thursday, as seven IR operators and numerous other Japanese companies and associations exhibited at the first public IR event to be held in the prefecture.
US casino operator Caesars Entertainment has entered into an agreement with outgoing CEO Mark Frissora to delay his resignation date to April 30, 2019.
On January 3, Caesars Entertainment and the National Football League (NFL) announced a multidimensional partnership. Like the recent partnership between MGM Resorts and Major League Baseball, this represents an industry response to the May 2018 US Supreme Court decision that legalized sports betting throughout the country.
At least three of four of the major US casino operators will continue to rely on Macau as their growth engine over the next five years, said Bernstein in a note. These companies include Wynn Resorts, Las Vegas Sands, and to some extent, MGM Resorts.
The Nihon Keizai Shinbun’s high-powered IR Forum in Tokyo drew more than six hundred guests, not including the many others who reportedly had to be turned away by an excess of applications. The event brought together government officials, IR operators, analysts, and others for an intensive day-long event last Wednesday.
All four Las Vegas-based operators which are in the hunt for an IR license in Japan reported strong financial results in the July-September period.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Frissora has announced his resignation from the company, with effect from February 8, 2019. Over the next few months, Caesars says it will be working with a nationally recognized search firm to identify Frissora’s successor.
The selection of Ado Machida to front Hard Rock’s effort to win an IR license in Japan highlights a trend that was already clearly visible—some US operators are attempting to leverage in a not-too-subtle fashion the military and security links between Washington and Tokyo.
Caesars Entertainment is expected to reject the offer from Golden Nugget Casino owner Tillman Fertitta to merge the two companies, according to sources cited by the New York Post.
It would appear that the competition to partner with the Tomakomai municipal government has now narrowed down to six serious suitors—Caesars, Hard Rock, Mohegan, Rush Street, Clairvest, and Foxwoods.
The victory of the All-Okinawa candidate for governor, Denny Tamaki, would appear to bring to an end any chance that Okinawa Prefecture will join the race to host an IR.
At a press conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment unveiled its “100 Year Partnership for Japan” campaign, and made a number of significant announcements about recent developments in the firm’s local IR initiatives.
Several international IR operators have been meeting with members of the Tomakomai Chamber of Commerce & Industry to discuss their bids to partner with this northern Japanese city.
Japan’s largest weekly news magazine by circulation, Shukan Bunshun, has published an article accusing Caesars Entertainment of engaging in a practice which they contend effectively amounts to the bribery of Japanese politicians, but which Caesars argues is an accepted and legal practice.
Canadian pop singer Celine Dion performed a sold out, two-hour show in Tokyo on June 26, her first appearance in Japan in about a dozen years, as part of Caesars Entertainment’s campaign to win one of the three IR licenses that will be up for grabs after the expected passage of the IR Implementation Bill next month.
Jason Gastwirth, Caesars’ president of entertainment, confirmed in an exclusive interview with AGB Nippon that he has entered into “initial discussions” with Japanese talent agencies and related groups to explore possible cooperation regarding programming at a potential theater for a Caesars IR in Japan.
Caesars Entertainment Corporation has announced plans to license its Caesars Palace, Flamingo, The Cromwell, and The LINQ brand in overseas destinations.
Caesars Entertainment is counting on its MICE and entertainment experience to carry off the prize of a casino license in Japan, says William Shen, the company’s managing director for Japan and South Korea.
Las Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment Corp. saw first quarter net revenue more than double in 2018Q1 compared to the prior year, reaching US$1.97 billion.
As Caesars Entertainment president and CEO Mark Frissora tours Japan this week, company executives are meeting with local officials and the media, as well as announcing a whole host of new developments that clearly puts Caesars among the front rank of international IR operators seeking a license in Japan.