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Harrah's Watch - March 2003

31 March 2003

Harrah's is the most diverse of all the casino companies.  Harrah's is also the most diverse in its approach to the gaming industry.  Gaming companies are looking for expansion opportunities; Harrah's is often one step ahead.  Leading the way with its tribal contracts, now as a 'racino' operator and in the negotiations with communities in states studying gaming, Harrah's is everywhere.  Participating in negotiations in California, Connecticut and Massachusetts, the biggest is trying to get bigger.

The Town Council moved last week to bring gambling to the town's business park, where the Narragansett Indian tribe and Las Vegas-based Harrah's Entertainment Inc. propose to build a resort-style casino.  Under the terms of an agreement approved last week, Harrah's is to pay the town for studies of the local effects of gambling…  Providence Journal Bulletin, LV Sun, 3-3-03

Harrah's Entertainment Inc. manages the Harrah's Rincon Casino and Resort near San Diego for the Rincon San Luiseno Band of Mission Indians. …recently joined a coalition of 21 California tribes that became the first in the state to formally announce their desire to discuss sharing casino revenue with the state in exchange for expanding the number of slot machines at their casinos, among other issues.  Liz Benston, Las Vegas Sun, 3-6-03

The chief executive of Harrah's Entertainment Inc…said yesterday he thought there was a ''50-50'' chance casinos would be allowed in Massachusetts in the near future.  Thomas C. Palmer Jr., Boston Globe, 3-26-03

Harrah's set the tone for the rest of industry in several other areas this month, too.  With the Wheel of Fortune agreement, Harrah's not only gains prime time exposure to a huge viewing audience, but also gains access to a data base of people who register for the sweepstakes.

Wheel of Fortune, America's #1 rated syndicated television series, and Harrah's Entertainment, Inc. have signed a cross-promotion deal bringing together these two industry leaders for the first time.  …Harrah's will sponsor the in-show Wheel of Fortune $100,000 Bonus Round. In addition, daily 10-second promotional spots aired during the show will encourage all viewers 21 and older to log onto www.wheeloffortune.com to register for a $100,000 online sweepstakes.  …Finalists from the May drawing will participate in a grand prize …when Wheel of Fortune co-host Vanna White will present the check to one lucky winner.  PRNewswire-FirstCall, Yahoo Business, 3-3-03

Size helps.  Because of its size, Harrah's was able to negotiate a separate tax deal in Iowa.  The deal only makes sense because Harrah's has casinos and a racetrack, additional costs at one are offset by gains at the other.

HET agreed with the state of Iowa on a 30% tax rate for their Bluffs Run Racetrack and Casino.  Currently, they are paying 20%, the same as riverboats but if the U.S. Supreme Court reverses the decision, they will be paying 32% to 36% and probably will be liable for the differences during the 20% months. … HET has the second highest grossing riverboat in the state.  So if they pay 30% at Bluffs Run, down from what was paid at this time last year, and in return there is no increase at their riverboat, they are ahead of the game.   Gaming Industry Weekly Report, 3-28-03

In the first week of war, with casinos in most every jurisdiction and a very diverse customer base, Harrah's hasn't felt the impact of war, yet.

Harrah's Entertainment Inc. has not modified its forecast for 2003 earnings growth despite the war in Iraq, the chief executive of the No. 3 casino operator said on Tuesday.  …"Our business has held up very well," Loveman told reporters after discussing the potential for gambling in Massachusetts at a meeting of the state chapter of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties.  Reuters, Yahoo Finance, 3-25-03

It is too soon for Harrah's or any of us to know what to expect, except that Harrah's will continue to work to find unique solutions to industry problems and to expand its revenue base as much as possible.

Ken Adams

Ken Adams is the principal in the gaming consulting firm, Ken Adams and Associates. Formed in 1990, Ken Adams and Associates specializes in information, analysis, and strategic planning for Indian tribes, casino operations and gaming manufacturers.

Ken spent over 20 years in the hotel-casino industry, prior to founding Ken Adams and Associates. He held the positions of: Director of Casino Operations, Casino Manager, and Keno Department Manager. During this time, he developed numerous innovative marketing and customer development programs and systems for evaluating casino performance. Some of those programs, such as slot clubs and tournaments, have become industry standards.

Ken is also actively involved in gathering and disseminating information that is important to the gaming industry. He is editor and publisher of and the Adams' Report, a monthly newsletter specializing in identifying trends in casino gaming, regulation and manufacturing, the Adams Daily Report, an electronic newsletter that provides electronic links to the key gaming stories of the day, and the Adams Review, a special report distributed by Compton Dancer Consulting that provides editorial commentary on gaming trends.
Ken Adams
Ken Adams is the principal in the gaming consulting firm, Ken Adams and Associates. Formed in 1990, Ken Adams and Associates specializes in information, analysis, and strategic planning for Indian tribes, casino operations and gaming manufacturers.

Ken spent over 20 years in the hotel-casino industry, prior to founding Ken Adams and Associates. He held the positions of: Director of Casino Operations, Casino Manager, and Keno Department Manager. During this time, he developed numerous innovative marketing and customer development programs and systems for evaluating casino performance. Some of those programs, such as slot clubs and tournaments, have become industry standards.

Ken is also actively involved in gathering and disseminating information that is important to the gaming industry. He is editor and publisher of and the Adams' Report, a monthly newsletter specializing in identifying trends in casino gaming, regulation and manufacturing, the Adams Daily Report, an electronic newsletter that provides electronic links to the key gaming stories of the day, and the Adams Review, a special report distributed by Compton Dancer Consulting that provides editorial commentary on gaming trends.