Caesars Entertainment Corp. sees lower first quarter loss

May 16, 2011 7:52 PM

So far, the privately-held hedge funds that invested nearly $30 billion in cash and debt to acquire Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. continue to show losses in their quarterly reports. The most recent quarter saw the company, now named Caesars Entertainment Corp., showing a loss of $147.5 million. This was better that last year’s loss of $195.6 million.

Total revenue during the period that ended on March 31 was down about 1 percent to $2.18 billion. The impact of Midwest flooding on the company’s casinos in Illinois and Indiana and its Mississippi river properties further south will be reflected in the company’s second quarter report.

In Las Vegas, tourism officials say that visitations have improved somewhat but that tourists are spending less.

That differs from Caesars’ explanation. The country’s largest casino operator says that gamblers are taking fewer trips to its properties but are spending slightly more when they do visit the casinos.

As an example, the company said that players using its loyalty program decreased 8 percent compared with a year ago but they spent 3.7 percent more per trip.

Caesars, whose World Series of Poker tournaments bring thousands of poker players from around the world to Las Vegas, is making a major pitch to get federal approval of online poker.

Despite the recent indictments of three major Internet poker sites, said Gary Loveman, company CEO, "It’s time for Congress to legalize online poker and bring the American dollars being spent and jobs being lost to foreign companies back to the United States."